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Full text of "The home book of the picturesque, or, American scenery, art, and literature : comprising a series of essays by Washington Irving, W.C. Bryant, Fenimore Cooper, Miss Cooper, N.P. Willis, Bayard Taylor, H.T. Tuckerman, E.L. Magoon, Dr. Bethune, A.B. Street, Miss Field, etc., with thirteen engravings on steel, from pictures by eminent artists, engraved expressly for this work"

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CLASS OF 1889 




This book must 
be taken from 
Library building. 


51 ® 

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3 y ;^ 

9\C'^ ^J'^^^S^ U 

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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by 


In tlie Clerk's Office of tlie Distiiot Court for tlie Southern District of New-York. 

.lOMX F. Ti:nw, riilNTKI!, 
40 Ann. street. 






3mfnniii Xnnlisrnjre m\ ^mmm 5lrt, 





That American artists have ample scope for the development of 
genius, in the department of landscajje painting, is a truism too self- 
evident to need any argumentative dissertations. A very laudable 
degree of success in the cultivation of this genius, is also e\ddent 
in many of our private drawing-rooms, as well as public exhibitions. 

Believing that ample material thus exists for illustrating the 
picturesque beauties of American landscape, the publisher has ven- 
tui'ed to undertake this volume as an experiment, to ascertain how 
far the taste of our people may warrant the production of home- 
manufactured presentation-books, and how far we can successfully 
compete with those fi-om abroad. In the higher range of orna- 
mental books of this class, such as are sought for by our liljei-al, 
gift-giving people, we have heretofore depended ahnost exclusively 
upon our importations from Em'ope. 

It is not to he pretended that this volume, even in its depart- 
ment, has reached the highest degree of excellence. The engravings 
are perhaps of too moderate size to do anything like justice to the 
original pictm^es, and they are doubtless still capable of improve- 


iiient, although it will )>e conceded that the engravers have done 
their part with taste and skill. 

AVhether the volume shows any jn'ogress, however, in American 
book-making, must be left to the public decision. K that tribunal 
affords the needful encouragement, this may be followed by futm-e 
volumes of similar import, but more worthy of the artists and of 
the country. 

The publisher begs leave to return his acknowledgments to those 
Avho have so kindly aided him in making this experiment — particu- 
larly to Mr. Durand, the distinguished president of the Academy, 
and to Messrs. Huntington, Church, Kensett, Weir, Talbot, Cropsey, 
and Richards, all of whom have won so much distinction as land- 
scape painters. To the gentlemen who have kindly loaned pictures 
for engraving, the publisher is under special obligation, particularly 
to Cyrus W. Field, Esq., for Mi". Church's charming pictm-e of West 
Rock ; to General J. A. Dix, for that of Rondout, Ijy Huntington ; 
to Mrs. Cole, for the picture of Schroon Lake, by her late husband ; 
to Mr. C. H. Rogers for Mr. Talbot's "Juniata," and to Mr. J. W. 
Whitefield for the same artist's "Cascade Bridge." 

It is superfluous to refer to the eminent writers who have zealously 
contributed to the substantial value of the volume by their able 
essays. The reader can appreciate them without note or comment. 

The publisher would merely allude to the self-evident fact, that 
this volume does not claim to rejjresent the American landscape 
painters in any thing like proper proportion. It was only practi- 
cable to give in this such specimens as were accessible, of only a 
small pi'oportion of those artists who would worthily adorn such a 
book. If wc arc permitted to proceed with another volume, a dozen 
or two more names will at once occur to the reader as quite essen- 
tial for such a j^urpose. 

G. P. P. 



















E. L. Magoon 




J. FENnMOKE Cooper 


WASniNOTON Ikvino 


Miss Cooper 


Batard Taylor 


N. P. Willis 



n. T. Tuokerman 


Mart E. Field 


Bayard Taylor 



Wm. C. Bryant 


Alfred B. Street 



G. W. Bethtine, D. D. 




THE BAY OF NEW-YORK, . . . . H. Beckwitii 


THE RONDOUT, D. IIuntlxgton 


CATSKILL, IN THE CLOVE, . . . . A. B. Dubasd 

THE JTJNIATTA, PENN. .... J. Talbot 



WEST ROCK, NEW IIA\T5N, . . . . F. E. Ciiurch 







H. Beckwitii 


J. llALl-lN 


S. V. Hunt 


II. Beckwitii 


H. Beckwitii 


H. Beck^vitii 


S. V. Hunt 


S. V. Hunt 


S. V. Hunt 


S. V. Hunt 


J. Halpin 


J. KlUK 


H. Beckwitii 




" O my Native Land 1 
How shouldst thou prove aught else but dear and holy 
To me, who from thy lakes and mountain hills, 
Thy clouds, thy quiet dales, thy rocks and seas, 
Have drunk in all my intellectual life, 
All sweet sensations, all ennobling thoughts, 
All adoration of the God in nature, 
All lovely and all honorable things. 
Whatever makes this mortal spirit feel 
The joy and greatness of its future being 3 
There lives nor form nor feeling in my soul 
Unborrowed from my country." 


God made tlie human soul illustrious, aud designed it for exalted 
pursuits and a glorious destiny. To expand our finite faculties, and 
afford tliem a culture both profound and elevating, Nature is spread 
around us, with all its stupendous proportions, and Revelation speaks to 
us of an eternal augmentation of knowledge hereafter, for weal or woe. 

J S C E X E K Y A N D JI I N D . 

Above, Ijc'ueatli, aud on every side, open the avenues of iniinite pro- 
gression, tbrougli wliicli we are to advance without pause, and expand 
without limit. Here, in tliis dim arena of earth, an immortal essence 
thi'obs at our heart in harmony with the infinite and eternal. The 
day-star of thought arises on the soul, and, with our first rational 
exercise, begins an existence which may experience many ■\dcissitudes, 
may pass through many transitions, but can never terminate. The 
soul, vivified with power to think, t\t.11 outlive the universe which feeds 
its thought, and will be still practising its juvenile excursions at the 
mere outset of its opening career, while suns and systems, shorn of 
theii' glories, shall sink, in shattered ruins, to the caverns of eternal 
obli\don. The two great capacities, correspondent to the two great 
natural elements alluded to aljove, — the power of perceiAong the 
beautiful and feeling the sublime, — are at once the products and proofe 
of inherent immortality. They indicate endowments which it is bliss 
to improve, and a destiny which it will be fearfid indeed to neglect. 

All sentient beings may have an eye that can see, and an ear that 
can hear ; but to be gifted with a heart that can feel, constitutes the 
chief characteristic of a living soul. Animals are created perfect, 
while mankind are made perfectible by \drtue of loftier capacities. 
Instinct is compelled to pause over what it dimly perceives, but niiud 
perpetually quickens its vision, as well as its speed, through the mag- 
nificent unfoldings of its imbounded progress. The senses educate the 
capabilities. Our lower nature is first susceptible to impression ; and 
from this source, at a very early j)eri()d, infiuences arise which, when 
once stereoty}3etl upon the soul, are ineftaceable forever. What is the 
destiny of that little stranger, just emerged from mysterious night 
iato life active and eternal ? What is to be the history of that ghm- 
mering sjiark, struck from nothiugness by the all-croatiug rock, and 
filled with a fulness of beina: that will shine when the stars are 


extinct ? Soon its faculties will unfold to external influences. As yet 
its germs of consciousness lie smothered under the passive and mortal 
powers ; Ijut as these are made the avenues of moral health or disease 
in early culture, that tremendous existence which lies before the 
unconscious liabe will prove a blessing or a curse. In relation to 
every young denizen of earth, it is an important reflection, that having 
once felt, it retains that feeling ; the emotion of jJea^ure it has exjje- 
rienced, thenceforth belongs to itself, and will recur with increased 
energy ; that the paiu it has once known belongs to itself, and may 
go on deepening its pimgency forever. Glory or iufamy is but a 
difi'ei'ent direction of the same capacities. Soon from that youtliful 
mind will come gleamings of thought and ebullitions of passion, and 
those same eftervescing endowments may form a Catiluie or a Cicero. 
The Xeros and Herods, Newtons and Pauls, the scourges of earth, and 
its greatest benefactors, were once helpless infants. 

To our mind, this book on American Scenery has an import of the 
highest order. The diversified landscapes of our country exert no 
shght influence m creating our character as individuals, and in confirm- 
ing our destiny as a nation. Oceans, mountains, rivers, cataracts, wild 
woods, fragrant praii'ies, and melodious winds, are elements and exem- 
plifications of that general harmony which subsists throughout the 
universe, and which is most jwtent over the most valuable minds. 
Every material oliject was designed for the use and reward of genius, to 
be tm-ned into an intelligible hieroglyphic, and the memento of purest 
love. How strong this early influence and affection may become, it is 
difficult to say. Hills, valleys, brooks, trees — om- first and fondest 
friends bey(md the domestic hearth — are never forgotten. Memory 
recalls the sunny days of childhood and youth ; and, like the green 
spot in the desert, in M-hich the weary traveller lingers with delight, 
his tods and piivations half forgotten, we love to ramble again amidst 


tlie scenes of earliest emotion and purest tliouglit, rejoicing still that, 
wherever exiled, 

" Trees, and flowere, and brooks, 
AYhich do remember me of wliere I dwelt. 
Ere my young mind was sacrificed to books, 
Come as of yore upon me, and can melt 

My heart witli recognition of tlieir looks." 

We proceed to show that, iu the physical universe, what is most 
abundant, is most ennobling ; what is most exalted, is most influential 
on the Lest minds ; and that, for these reasons, national intellect 
receives a prevailing tone from the pecidiar scenery that most 

First, in the kingdoms of matter around us, what is most aljundant 
in amount, is most enuoljliug in use. The mighty magician, Nature, 
produces the greatest variety of striking eifects -^-ith the fewest means. 
There are only a sun, soil, rocks, trees, flowers, water, and an obser-sdng 
soul. Every thing in use depends upon this last, whether to the con- 
templator " love lends a precious seeing to the eye." Deep in the 
concave of heaven is the luminary revealing all ; and deep in the soul 
of the illumined is a chord tenderly vibrating to the charms of all. 
The voices of every order of moving things, the silvery tones of flow- 
ing streams, the trembhng tongues of leaves, the inarticulate melody 
of flowers, the \dbrations of mighty hUls, and the dread music of the 
spheres, all sublunary blending with all celestial notes, are not for a 
moment lost to the heart that listens. The harp of Memuon is not 
falndous, properly interpreted. The devout lover of nature, seated on 
the mountain, or l)y the ocean, bathed in the golden sheen of 02:)ening 
day, will have his soul often stirred T)y melody divine as ever resound- 
ed from the mysterious haiiuonicon by tlie waters of the Nile. 


Every rational iuliabitant of earth is a focal point in tlie universe, 
a profoundly deep centre around whicli every thing Leautiful and 
sublime is arranged, and towards which, through the exercise of admi- 
ration, every refining mfluence is drawn. Wonderful, indeed, is the 
radiant thread that runs through every realm of outward creation, and 
enhuks all their diversified influences ^v4th the innermost fibres of the 
soul. This is the vital nerve by vii-tue of which the mdividual is 
related to the universe, and the universe is equally related to the mdi- 
vidual. Through this, all physical powers combine to relieve spii-itual 
wants. Earth contributes her fulness of wealth and majesty; aii* 
ministers in all the Protean aspects of beauty and subhmity ; fire, 
permeating every thing graceful and fair, gleams before the scrutinizing 
eye with a light more vivid than the lightning's blaze; and water is 
not only " queen of a thousand rills that fall in silver from the dewy 
stone," diffusing a " dulcet and harmonious breath " from the most 
sylvan haunts of man to hLs most crowded home, but from continent 
to contment "pours the deep, eternal bass m natm-e's anthem, makmg 
music such as charms the ear of God." 

In this abundance there is an infinite variety, adapted to every 
grade of intellect, and every condition in life. The book of nature, 
which is the art of God, as Revelation is the word of his divmity, 
unfolds its innumerable leaves, all Uluminated with glorious imagery, 
to the vision of his creature, man, and is designed to elevate or soothe 
him by such influences as emanate from foaming cataracts, glassy lakes, 
and floating mists. For this beneficent purpose, fields bloom, forests 
wave, mountains soar, caverns open then- jewelled mines, constellations 
sparkle, clouds spread then- variegated di'apery, the sun radiates from 
horizon to zenith, and billows roll from pole to pole. In spring, aU is 
vivacious with an overflowing ne^\Tiess of hfe ; in summer, gorgeous is 
the woiid to every eye ; autumn mellows at once the landscape vnth. 


its bar\ests, and tlie lieai-ts tLat love every form of matured and pro- 
liiic Mortli ; even winter, deserted as may be lier temple of the 
thouglitless and vain, suggests, tlirougli lioar-frost and withered leaves, 
lessons of greatest value to votaries wLo evermore aspire to be truly 

Sir Josliua EejTiolds lias said that " Nature denies her instructions 
to none who desire to become her jDupils;" but a great deal de2")euds 
upon the motives with which we enter her school. It ^dll be to a low 
pui'])ose, surely, if our investigations are conducted in a predominantly 
utilitai'ian spirit, recognizing in the laws according to which the 
Di\dnity works merely the handmaids to sensual indulgence, rather 
than the instruments of the noblest use. It is thus that nature is 
made to present herself to gross minds, not as a cpiet and awful tem- 
ple, but as a plenteous kitchen, or voluptuous banqueting-hall. By 
this we do not mean that the sentiments which elevate are ever unnar 
tural. Nature is most truly herself when she stands revealed to her 
votary in the most refined and suggestive form. The Apollo Belvidere 
is indescribably more natural than any rustic of Teniers, or any alle- 
gorical figure of Rubens. The master-scenes of nature, however, like 
the masterpieces of transcendent art, require for the inexperienced, 
yet earnest admirer, an interpreter ; to the lukewarm and careless 
they are ever partially, if not com})letely, incomjirehensilde. Like 
certain delicate plants, then- essential beauties shrink under rough 
handling, and become dimness to the profanity of a casual glance; 
they imveil themselves most fully to the enraptured, and ])Our the 
efiulgence of their splendid mysteiies hito the fixed eye of him only 
who gazes on the charms he has stutliously sought, and adores foi" 
thvir own dear sake. Tlius em])loye(l, the most copious productions 
of (Jod exert the most eiiiinliling iiiHucncc Tlicy (luirkcn thought 
and inspire Iniinility, thus verifying the exjierience of the poet : 

S C E N E R Y A N D M I N 1) . 7 

" I moved on 
In low and lantjuid mood : tor I had t'ouiid 
That outward forms, tlie loftiest, still receive 
Their finer influence fi'om the Lite -within." 

Ill viewing magnificent scenes, tlie soul, ex]5anded and suljlimed, is 
imbued with a spirit of divinity, and appears, as it w^ere, associated 
with the Deity himself. For, as the shepherd feels himself ennobled, 
■while communing with his sovereign, the beholder, in a far nobler 
degree, feels himself advanced to a higher scale in the creation, in 
being permitted to see and admire the grandest of nature's w^orks. 
All vigorous souls prize most highly that healthy and expansive exer- 
cise of mind which is attained chiefly by traversing rugged paths and 
scaling celestial heights, in order to breathe pure and bracing air. To 
the query whether beneficial effects actually attend such excursions, 
let Sydney Smith reply : " I, for one, strongly believe iu the aflirma- 
tive of the question, — that Nature speaks to the miud of man imme- 
diately in beautiful and sul^lime language ; that she astonishes him 
with magnitude, appals him with darkness, cheers him with splendor, 
soothes him M'ith harmony, captivates him with emotion, enchants him 
with fame ; she never intended man should Avalk among her flowers, 
and her fields, and her streams, unmoved ; nor did she rear the 
strength of the hills in vain, or mean that we should look with a 
stupid heart on the wild glory of the torrent, bursting from the dark- 
ness of the forest, and dashing over the cruml)ling rock. I would as 
soon deny hardness, or softness, or figm'e, to be quahties of matter, as 
I would deny beauty or sublimity to belong to its qualities." 

Mind is itself the strongest agency over mind ; and next to this, 
in dignity and worth, is the jjotency of such inanimate productions as 
are pleasing iu their aspect, or awe-inspiring in theii' form. This is 


iiu inilueuce A\Licli effectively appeals to the sjjirits of our I'ace iu 
every condition of life. Wlierever the faintest ray of intelligence has 
da^^Tied, thither does it come, and there with ever increasiug dominion 
dwell. The savage is not too rude, nor the child too infantile, to be 
either refined or fortified by its lessons. Nature is an element which 
cannot be excluded, and which ought to lie so dii-ected as to produce 
the most agreeable and beneficent results. True, venerable mountains 
and verdant plains, with all their terrors and all their glories, are but 
pictures to the blind and music to the deaf, when a perceiving eye and 
appreciating soul are wanting. But with these endowments in exer- 
cise, however dim, dwellers in the midst of bold sceneiy are harder 
workers, greater readers, and better thinkers, than persons of equal 
rank elsewhere. Thi-ough the serene medium of their lofty elevation, 
they are less impressed by the pettiness of man and his affairs, than 
by the graceful magnitude of what the Almighty has spread through 
infinite fields around. Li^dng with supreme delight far above a Lilh- 
putian standard, the mind swells into something of the colossal gran- 
deur it admires. A majestic landscape, often scanned and truly loved, 
imparts much of its greatness to the mind and heart of the spectator ; 
so that while the species may dwindle in relative worth, the individual 
is ennobled by the expansion he has received. Even a transient visit 
to localities strongly characterized hj what is intrinsically elegant or 
grand, leaves the noblest impression on susceptible souls. Charles 
Lamb relates, with his accustomed happy style, that on returning to 
hLs desk at the India House, after a brief sojourn amidst the Hills and 
Lakes of Westmoreland, he thought much less highly of himself than 
while invested with the mingled beauty and majesty of magnificent 
mountain scenery. Well might his lo\-ing school-fellow and great 
bi'otlier in devotion to Nature's charms, Coleridge, say, in addressing 
his little child : 


" I was rcar'd 
III the a^i'eat city, pent 'iniJ cloistei-s dim, 
And saw naught lovely but the sky aud stai-s. 
But thou, my babe, shalt wander like a breeze 
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags 
Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds. 
Which image in theii- bulk both lakes and shores 
And mountain crags : so shalt thou see and hear 
The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible 
Of that eternal language, wliicli thy God 
Utters, who from eternity doth teach 
Hunself in all, and all things in himself : 
Great universal teacher ! He shall moidd 
Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask." 

Thus far oitr first point, namely, that, in the outward creation, 
whatever is most abimdant is most enuoljhug in its influence on om- 
inner faculties. In the second place, we proceed to show, that the 
noblest aspects and energies of nature have the finest aud fii-mest con- 
trol over the best minds. 

All eminent geniuses are close observers of rural objects, aud 
enthusiastic admirers of imposing scenery. There can be no approxi- 
mation towards universal development, save as one lays the entu'e 
universe under contribution to his personal cultivation. He must 
absorb into his expanded soul resources fi'om every kingdom com- 
petent to render him a sovereign indeed over the realms of emo- 
tion aud thought. He that would fortify a giant arm to sever an 
isthmus or tunnel mountains, as a pathway for the nations, or wield a 
giant mind that can quicken and mould the sentiments of other men 
gigantic like himself, must habitually feed on that aliment which is 
won in stray gifts l)y whosoever will find, and which, when attained, 
constitutes " a perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets where no crude surfeit 

10 S C E X E E Y A X D MIND. 

reigns." The pul)lic man whose spliere is most comprelieiisive, and 
"whose exhausting toils are most distracting, Avill probaljly l)e indeT)ted 
to youtliful and sereuer avocations in huniljler scenes for his sweetest 
solace and most endui'mg strength. The exjjeiience and sagacity of a 
gi-eat philosopher justify this assertion : " I speak, sii", of those who, 
though bred up vmder our unfavorable system of education, have yet 
held, at times, some intercom-se with Nature, and with those great 
minds whose works have been moulded by the spiiit of Nature : who, 
therefore, when they pass from the seclusion and constraint of early 
study, bring with them, into the new scene of the world, much of the 
pure sensibility which is the spring of all that is greatly good in 
thought and action." 

All great passions are fed, and all great systems are projected in 
solitude. Wide and dense masses of mankind form the ap2:)roiiriate 
field whereon superior talents are to be exercised ; but, to the aspir- 
ing, the distraction and attrition of large cities are rather e\'iLs to be 
shunned, since they vitiate if not destroy that purity and calm which 
are essential to the best growth of mind. The predestined hero in 
moral warfare will avoid the broad and boisterous way, if he l)e -nise ; 
and, like the Pythagoreans of old, he will betake himself to some 
sequestered spot, there alone to mature the vigor of his thoughts. If 
he would elicit a train of sentiments the profoundest and best, let him 
wander through the shady walks and silent groves of the country, 
where all things tend to arm and elevate the soul. The song of bu-ds 
and hum of bees will not profitless fall on his ear. Fields enamelled 
with verdure, and trees clothed in garments almost di\'ine, the stillness 
of nature in her secret glens, and the awful import of her more vocal 
majesty, must recall the universal Creator in modes the most palpable 
to a meditative inipil in this university for all designed, and at the 
same time will most imlmc liini with tlic immense repose witli which 


creation is croMTied. Forms of glory lioveriug over forest and field, 
on tlie river's bank, the lake's brini, ocean's strand, or around moun- 
tain-peaks, create glorious forms in admii-ing souls. They confer an 
inspii-ation which kindles afresh over each new object worthy of 
esteem, and forever keep burning on the altar of the heart a flame 
which infinitude perpetually draws near Ixith to purify and feed. It 
is om- bliss to cherish those early recollections, without which all 
others are nuU and void, and which should be wedded to memory 

•' You of all names the sweetest and the best ; 
You Muses, Books, and Liberty, and Rest ; 
You Gardens, Fields, and Woods." 

It is no valid objection to our argument to remind us that some 
" misuse the bounteous Pan, and think the gods amiss." That is to 
quote the perversion of a privilege, and not its legitimate use. Petrarch, 
for instance, only aggravated the fires that consumed him, when he 
buried himself in the lonely recesses of Vaucluse. But had he gone 
there to study "the quaint mossiness of aged roots" by day, and at night 
gazed with acutest sympathy upon " the star of Jove, so beautiful and 
large," — instead of tamely succiunbing before " the patient brilliance 
of the moon ; " had he been ambitious rather to " hve in the rainbow 
and play in the plighted cloutls," he might, on the bleakest summit, 
and with a richer facility than in the pampered palace, have created 
" Eschylean shapes of the subhme," and been imbued with energies 
nobler far than ever graced the marble porch whei'e ^visdom was wont 
to teach with Socrates and Tully. It ha.s l)een among deserts, on 
islands, in caverns, or when hidden by other di-apery of seclusion the 
most opaque, that philosophers, statesmen, and heroes, have obtained 


tliat faith and t'ervor h\ wLicli tliey secured triunijOumt success in the 
end, even thougli martyrdom was their road. 

The best education consists ui the most thorough training of natu- 
ral energy. In all moral architecture, as in material, the elegant 
should rest on the substantial, and clearly indicate the firmness it 
adorns. Large portions of a temj^le admit of being highly polished, 
but he would not be a very wise builder who should set about his 
structm'e with nothing but polishings. They who have " yellowed 
themselves among rolls and records" are not generally the persons 
who exert the most salutary influence, and make the most indelible 
impress on mankind. On the contrary, hajipiest and mightiest are 
they wbo are boi'u and reared where free course is allowed to the 
influences with whick creative power kas benignantly surrounded us. 
" Happy they wko are located in tke true infant-sckool of God and 
Nature ; on wkom tkis grand moving panorama skeds all its ckanging 
ligkts, and bestows all its successive scenes ; wko watck tke revohdng 
stars, and tke jirogression of brigkt constellations, in no bomided 
korizon ; for wkom tkere ai'e tke infinite efl:ects, daily and nigktly, of 
sunligkt and moonligkt, over kill and plain, — better stiU if tke vast 
ocean add its skifting colors and tke accompaniment of its continuous 
and resounduig antkem ; to wkom a kundred birds and plants, in 
rapid succession, teU of advancing spring ; wkose montks tke flowers 
calendar ; wkose autumn is infallibly marked by tke ripened grain and 
tke skeaves of joyous karvest ; wko make an era in tke few years of 
tkeu' ckronology by some more memoralJe storm or severer frost ; 
and wko ckange tkeii" sports and occupations witk ckanging natm-e, 
receiving tkrougk every inlet tke influences of God's spirit, and 
rejoicing in all. Not tkat ckildren can feel tke beauty or tke gran- 
deur, still less (live into tke wisdom of tkis miglity sckeuie of tkings, 
but i/te i-t/i/iiilN-s is on them, the novelty is adapted to and excites 


them ; Niitiii'e has her way A^ithin them as well lus parents and teacli- 
ers ; and the senses do such duty as in the crowded city school-room 
they never yet performed nor ever can. And thus they go on from 
infancy to youth, groTving in the best knowledge of humanity ; a 
knowledge of the world in which God has placed them ; and thereby 
becoming fit to grapple with the diificulties and triumph in the moral 
conflicts that wiU present themselves in maturer life, as they come into 
the world that man has fashioned." 

The superiority of nature over art, as a source of pleasure and 
profit, is worthy of special note. When we enter magnificent monu- 
ments of human skill, we are at first struck with the costly decorations 
of wood, pigments, marble, and gold. But after repeated views, we 
feel no longer charmed, and the mental pleasure received at the first 
glance is continually decreased. Whereas, in contemplating the works 
of nature, from the minutest specimen to the most majestic, and most 
powerfully when the sense of perception is armed with greatest clear- 
ness and force, the devotee feels that the luxury of observation is con- 
stantly enhanced. The prospect of the country never satiates us ; the 
landscape, 'ft'ith all its changes, is ever new, and every day invests it 
with some fresh aspect to delight and invigorate the mind. Love of 
natural olgects, and especially a preference for whatever makes scenery 
of the wilder or more romantic kind, is a prevaihng element hi all 
character of the most marked and practical use. There is down upon 
the breast of eagles ; and the strongest men have usually the gentlest 
natures, because they habitually live ui intimate and affectionate alli- 
ance with the mildest as well as mightiest influence. As an elej^haut 
crashes through jungles and over crags, whetting his tusks, and as the 
imperial bird of prey seeks some storm-worn summit to sharpen his 
talons, so every one, quick to feel and invincible to subdue, like 
Achilles, will court retirement ui great nature's quiet nooks, where he 


may recrait his meutal strength and stiiug his Low. Ai-chimedes, a 
man of stupendous genius, was accustomed to say, that, next to the 
solution of a problem, was the pleasure of an evening walk in the 
suburbs of Syi*acuse. Descartes, having settled the place of a planet 
in the morning, would amuse himself in the evening by w^eeding and 
watering a bed of flowers. Gray, one of the most intellectual and 
fastidious of men, says, " Happy they who can create a rose-tree, or 
erect a honey-suckle ; who can watch the brood of a hen, or a fleet of 
theii" own ducklings as they sail upon the water." The love of nature 
is, indeed, mstiuctive in all superior minds. Philosoi^hers hving in the 
time of Philostratus were accustomed to retire to the shades of Mount 
Athos, where " Metlitation might think down hoiirs to moments." 
Catullus, Martial, and Statins were ardent admii'ers of rural life ; 
especially so were Atticus, Tacitus, and Epictetus. Cicero, who valued 
himself more upon his taste for the cultivation of philosophy, than 
upon his talents for oratory, had no less than eighteen diftereut coun- 
try residences in various parts of his beautiful native land. He speaks 
of them m terms of fondest attachment ; and they were all situated 
in such delightful points of view, as to deserve being called " the eyes 
of Italy." The i-etreat of Tusculum was his favorite residence. It 
was the most elegant mansion of that elegant age ; and the beauty of 
the landscape around it, adding a higher worth to the site than all 
the charms Atticus could purchase for its master at Athens, to the 
highest degree refined the taste of its accomplished possessor. "When, 
fatigued with business, and happy in being allowed the indulgence of 
sequestered recreation, the great master of the Fornin, "from whose 
hps sweet elocpience distilled, as honey from the Ijee," could mingle in 
the unrestrained com2")anionship of such friends as Scipio and Atticus 
and Laelins, at Caieta and Lauvcntuni, tlicy together strove to grow 
boys again in tlicii' aiiiuscuK'nts, and (K-rived no igimlile ph'asure from 


gatliering sliells upon tlie sea-shore. Simplicity and dignity always 
coalesce witli tlie utmost gentleness and good-nature, in the pei'sons 
and amusements of the truly great. They are equal to the society of 
the most refined and emdite, in all the delicate sobriety of exalted 
life ; and, with equal spontaneity of native greatness and acquired 
grace, can run, shout, and leap, Avith juvenile thoughts and limbs. It 
is not in the surprising to find Cicero so often urging us to study 
the natural beauties of the country in which we live. He asserts it to 
be the most auspicious pleasure of youth, and the most soothing joy of 
serene old age. Livy and Sallust were also A-iAadly conscious of such 
impressions, and of the worth they confer. Phny the younger declared 
him self never to have been happier than when he was indulging him- 
self at his country seats, where in healthful leism-e he wrote his works, 
and celeljrated the views which his \Tllas aftbrded. " K life were not 
too short," says Sir William Jones, " for the complete discharge of all 
om' respective duties, public and private, and for the acquisition of 
necessary knowledge in any degree of perfection, with how much 
pleasure and improvement might a great part of it be spent, in admir- 
ing the beauties of this wonderful orb ! " The graces willingly lend 
their zone to embellish and fortify the passions of a noble breast. 
Assimilating to himself the richest coutriljutions from all som'ces of 
the beautiful, the true, and the sublime, the severest student and most 
usefid citizen secures to himself the delightful companionship of that 
potent and infallible guide described by Campbell : 

" Taste, like the silent dial's power, 
Which, when supernal light is given, 
Can measure inspiration's hour, 
And tell its height in heaven ! " 

We have now considered tw^o positions, assumed at the outset : 


fii'st, what is most abuudaut in nature is most enuoLliug in its effects ; 
and, secondly, that the best minds are most influenced by natui-al 
excellence. It remains to indicate, thirdly, how character, as stamped 
on literature, has ever been toned by tlie predominant characteristics 
of native scenery. 

In portraying the influence ^\'hioh the inanimate creation exerts 
upon mind and letters every where, we employ 'wliat has been univer- 
sally felt and acknowledged. The wise man in his lonely turret, high 
among the palaces of Babylon, and the unsojihisticated shepherd as he 
watched his flocks at midnight on the plains of Chaldea, recognized in 
the aspects and movements of the planetary world an intimate relation 
to the mysterious Adcissitudes of hmnan life, and the otherwise unre- 
vealed determinations of human destiny. In the constitution of man- 
kind, the religious instinct and literary taste are intimately allied, and 
seem, indeed, to a great extent, the same. " The untutored negro, 
when he prostrates himself on the reedy Ijank of his native stream, 
and adores the Deity of the stream in the shape of the crocodile, or 
bows before the poison tree, in reverence to the God of poisons, obeys 
this native impulse of humanity, no less than the disciple of Zoroaster 
who climbs the highest mountain tops, unsoiled by the profane foot- 
steps of trade or of cm-iosity, where the air is ever pure, and the sun 
greets the earth witli its earhest light, to pay his vt)ws and offer his 
incense to the visible symbols of Divinity, to his mind themselves 
divinities ; or the outcast Guebre, who with forbidden and untold of 
rites, worships an ever burning flame — to him the elemental principle 
of natui'e." The chai'aeter of the early jiatriarc-lis was m> doubt chiefly 
moidded by the peculiarity of their habitation and pursuits. Their 
manner of life upon the great oceans of wilderness and jxusture, gave 
breadth and ehusticity to their intellects. The free mountain winds 
liad leave to lilow against tlieiii, their eyes drank the rivers with 


deliglit, aud tlie vault of lieaveu uuder Avlilcli tliey d\^'t'lt, witli all its 
miglity stars, elevated their feelings no less than it exjsanded their 

The Hebrew prophets of a later day lived equally in the eye of 
natui'e. Says GilfiUan : " We always figure them -wdth cheeks em- 
browned by the noons of the The sun had looked on them, 
but it was lovingly — the moon had ' smitten ' them, but it was with 
poetry, not madness — they had drimk in fire, the fire of Eastern day, 
from a hundred sources — from the lukewarm brooks of their land, 
from the rich colors of their vegetation, from their mornings of 
unclouded brightness, from theii* afternoons of thunder, from the large 
stars of their evenings and nights. The heat of their climate was 
strong enough to enkindle but not to enervate their frames, inured as 
they were to toil, fatigue, fastmg, and frequent travel. They dwelt in 
a land of hills and valleys, of brooks and streams, of spots of exube- 
rant vegetation, of ii"on-ribbed rocks and mountains — a land, on one 
side, dipping down in the Mediterranean Sea, on another, floating up 
into Lebanon, and on the others, edged by deserts, teeming at once 
with dreadful scenery and secrets — through which had passed of old 
time the march of the Almighty, and where his anger had left for its 
memorials, here, the sandy sepulchre of those thousands whose car- 
casses fell in the wilderness, and there, a whole Dead Sea of vengeance, 
lowering amid a desolation fit to be the very gateway to hell: — 
standing between their song and subject-matter, and such a fiery chme, 
and such stern scenery, the Hebrew l)ards were enabled to indite a 
laru/uage more deeply dyed in the colors of the sun, more intensely 
metaphorical, more faithfully transcriptive of nature, a simpler, and 
yet larger utterance, than ever before or since rushed out from the 
heart and tongue of man." 

But no where do the instincts of man, in their alliance mth his 


noUest productions, appear more strongly marked hy the influence of 
surrounding scenery, than in tlie early training and national literatiire 
of " pagan Greece." That wondeiful people seem fully to have under- 
stood that man -was made to grow up harmoniously, vnih simidtaneous 
expansion of trunk, Lranch, and foliage, as grows a tree ; the sap of 
immortal energy must circidate -n-ithout hindi-ance in every fibre, 
maturing fruits perennial and divine. 

Two laws manifestly govern the constitution of our being, a due 
regard to which is mdispensable to our highest welfare. In the first 
place, in proportion as the physical natm"e of man is developed by 
suitable discipline, winning the greatest vigor of limb, and the greatest 
acuteness of sense, he will derive important aids to the intellect and 
moral powers from the perfections of his outward frame. IVIoreover, 
by a delightful reaction, the mind, in j^roportion as it is invigorated 
and l)eautified, gives strength and elegauce to the l)ody, and enlarges 
the sphere of action and enjoyment. These laws have been observed 
by the best educators of the world. At Athens, the g}Txmasia became 
temples of the Graces. In these appropriate fields of moral traming, 
the refined Greek could gratiiy his fondness for the beautiful, sur- 
rounded on every hand by the combined charms of nature and art. 
Every festival of childhood was rendered enchanting with fiowers and 
music ; the barge, as it was pushed in bojdsh sport on the lake, was 
crowned with garlands ; the oars were moved to the sound of " sweet 
recorders," and the patriotic mother at home sang an inspiiing lullaby, 
as she rocked her infant to sleep in the broad shield of its robust 
tather. There were wrestliags for all classes in the i)ala?stra, as well 
as races and heroic contests for the foremost ranks ; there were gay 
revels on the mountain-sides, and moonhght dances in the groves. 
The popular games described in the twenty-fourth book of the Iliad, 
and the eighth of the Odyssey, all I'elate to important oliMiuMits in 


uatioiial education. Those ancient festivals bad the finest infiucuce 
uj^on the inhaljitants of the metropolis, and upon those who (hvelt the 
most remote. Every pilgrim through such lands, to such shrines, 
became Briareus-hauded and Argus-eyed. The beautiful scenes, full 
of patriotic and refined associations, which every where arrested his 
attention, gave hun the travellei-'s " thirsty eye," filled his mind with 
thrilling reminiscences, and caused him to return to his home glowing 
with brilliant descriptions and burdened with exalted thoughts. It 
was thus that the youthful Greek mingled with his studies pedestrian 
exercise and acute observation, formed his body to fatigue, while he 
stored hLs mind with the choicest ideas, and became equally skilled in 
handling a sword, subduing a horse, or building a temple. Such was 
the education found in the Lyceum where Aristotle lectured, and in 

" Tlie olive-grove of Academe, 
Plato's retii'ement, where tlie attic bii'd 
Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long : 
There flowery hiU Hymettus, with the sound 
Of bees' industiious miumur, oft invites 
To studious musing." 

No Grecian city was without its public squares, airy colonnades, 
spacious halls, and shady groves ; herein the people lived, transacted 
their business, passed their leisure, and improved their minds. The 
serene heaven which that land enjoys, was the best-loved roof of its 
population ; the grateful breeze, resounding sea, and brilliant sun, were 
theii' perpetual recreation and dehght. The country was looked upon 
as affording the only happy home. Large towns were regarded as 
huge prisons, but these were made as rural as possible. Whatever 
splendors might gleam from the capitol, Pan and his rustic train were 


most fascinating to tlie pojjular intellect and lieart. Familiar as the 
sensibilities and imagination of the people were with the outward 
world, and connecting the changing seasons and fruits of earth wiih. 
some occult power that regulated and produced them, theii- enthusiasm 
created and sustauied presiding deities, propitious in the calm, and 
adverse in the storm. Every gushing fountain was the dwelling of a 
nym^jh ; dryads shared with man the shelter and repose of groves ; on 
each hill an oread presided benignantly over the shepherds and their 
flocks ; while a goddess, more fruitful than " the silver-shafted queen, 
for ever chaste," glided before the reapers, and shook the golden har- 
vest from her lap on every plain. Speakers and writers the most 
popular, were so because they shared most, and expressed most clearly, 
the popular feeling. Of all literatures, the Grecian is most clearly 
marked with a thoroughly out-of-door character. Fresh morning air 
breathes through and glows about its twin fii'st-births of Poetry and 
Philosophy, hke the clear sky which still hangs above the two lofty 
peaks of Parnassus. One of the most dehghtful treatises that antiquity 
has transmitted to us, is the (Economics of Xenophon, in which the 
pm-suits and pleasures of husbandry are described in that beautiful 
manner which l)est befits the subject. And Pindar, as if ejqjressmg 
the universal cou\'iction, as well as the most cherished affection of his 
race, has said, that " he deserves to be called the most excellent, who 
knows much of nature." 

Respecting the harmony of the jihysical temperature, landscapes, 
and literature of Greece, an intelligent traveller has recently testified 
as follows : " The beauty of the scenery, so far as my experience 
extends, was unsurpassed by any in the world. For no where ai-e 
land and water mixed together in such just proportions ; islands and 
bays break the monotony of the one, and relieve and rejieat the beau- 
ties of the otlier ; and no where do soft valleys fade more inseiisil>ly 


iiito sublime mouutaius : aud Avlieu cue of these was crowned by 
forests, aud tlie otlier riclily cultivated aud studded witli gardeus and 
habitations, it must have surpassed all other lands, aud almost does so 
now." It is evident that, if the climate was not so luxmious as that 
of Egyi^t, it was far more exhilaratuig, and instead of tending to ener- 
vate, was sufficiently severe always to in^^,gorate, Avhile it was at the 
same time so genial as to invest the general aspect of nature with the 
loveliest charm, and to awaken all the more delicate emotions of the 
human heart. We know from her admiring writers, that in that land 
of the cicada and the nightingale, each sound was melody, and all the 
hues of earth and heaven were harmonious, Hke the leaves of " Spiing's 
sweetest book, the rose." Fine thought was spontaneous and yet per- 
fect, as the song of nature's own melodists, " singmg of summer m full- 
throated ease ; " and the softest combinations of articulate exjiression 
were but echoes of the notes which joyous zephyi-s ehcited along the 
clifis of Parnes, or wafted from the gi'oves of Colonus. The deification 
of enthusiasm, embodied in the worship of Dionysos, cannot, under 
such cii-cumstances, excite sui-prise. Among a people so full of mspi- 
ration, adoration under some form was a grateful vent, and a primary 
necessity. The agrarian rehgion of the Pelasgic herdsmen to the last 
occupied the Athenian acropolis, whUe the later aud more dehcate 
system of Ionian mythology spread its temples over the subjacent 
plains. This latter is known to modern tunes iu the literatm-e of clas- 
sical paganism. The pleasing ritual which the beech-woods of Thrace 
contributed to that system, in the worship of ApoUo and the Muses, 
was a romantic element which foimd easy access to the Greek mind, 
and was welcome there. Oracular places testified that earth was the 
vehicle of revelations to man, whether it were by her own vaporous 
breath, whispeiing ia the oak branches, the flight and voices of her 
creatures, or the sportive cycles into which inscribed leaves were 


sti-owii l)y the -wiiul. Ileuce arose the pautlieism of antiquity, -whicli 
worsliiped eartli herself as the supreme divinity ; a self-originated 
storehouse of all power and knowledge, in whose awful centre, over 
which Delphi stood, all beneficent and malignant virtues were permit- 
ted to contend and awe the world "wdth the subhme mystery of their 

The Greek mythology exhibits much more appreciation of, and 
minuter inquisition into natural phenomena than the literature of the 
Romans. To the mind of the latter nation every thing was more 
objective ; and yet the master-sj^irits among them were far from being 
indifferent to the beauties and sublimities of the material world. The 
fact of Catidlus having a \Tlla so far from Rome as the peninsula of 
Sermione, where he could look at rugged Alps, is but one of many 
instances we have of Romans in love with natural l)eauty. The best 
minds there, as elsewhere, knew that the true method of viemug aU 
created things, is to unite poetry to science, and to enlist both in the 
pursuit of trutli, in order that both may 2)urify the heart and aggran- 
dize the mind. Said Cicero, " There is nothing so delightful in litera- 
ture as that branch which enaliles us to discern the immensity of 
nature ; and which, teaching us magnanimity, rescues the soul from 
obscurity." Tlie practice of this great man comported with his theory, 
and substantiated it. He tells us in his letters, that when most crushed 
with j)rofessional cares, he would retire for weeks together from public 
life, and recreate himself in his quiet Cuman ^nlla, w^here he enjoyed 
fresh breezes from the Tuscan ocean, that rolled lieneath his windows, 
and where, thus invigorated, he wrote his fimious sis books upon 
Government. Such thinkers ever derive their finest inspii-ation and 
firmest strength from great nature, whose every kingdom they pant to 
ex])lore ; tlicii' inipciial career is "known to every star and every 
wind tliat Mows," giving the assurance that Mliat they say and do will 


survive in perpetually augmented power, " wlien tyrants' crests and 
tombs of brass are spent." In all their purposes and pursuits, tliey 
aspire only to a place 

"Amid til' august and never-dying light 
Of constellated spirits, who have gained 
A name in heaven, by power of heavenly deeds." 

No wiiter, among the Romans, lias sho-mi a greater relish for 
natural l)eauty, than Horace. He might well rank himself among the 
" lovers of the country ; " not only as his works abound in its praises, 
but because he could prefer his Sabiue retreat to a distinguished posi- 
tion at the court of Augustus. The odes of this accm-ate observer of 
men and things aliound with exquisite pictures of I'ural pursuits, con- 
nected with the diversified incidents and manners of life. If he cele- 
brates the powers of whie, the pleasm-e of sitting under the umbrageous 
fohage and luscious clusters is not forgotten. If the charms of his 
mistress be the theme of his song, the rose is not more beautiful, nor 
has the violet a perfimie more sweet. When war is portrayed, he for- 
gets not to contrast its paias and its bloody horrors with the tranquil 
and innocent pleasures of a smiling landscape, enlivened with the hum 
of rural sport, and prohfic cultivation. The woods and fields he loved 
were enjoyed as often as possible ; and when confined to hLs couch at 
Eome, he still delights in the remembrance of vernal and vintage inci- 
dents, when vigorous husbandmen urge their team, and happy peasants 
shout the harvest-home. " Ah ! " exclaims he, " how dehghted I am, 
when wandering among steep rocks and the sombre wUderness ; since 
the shades of forests and the murmuring of waters inspire my fancy, 
and will render me renowned. Sing, oh ! ye virgins, the beauties of 
Thessalian Tempe, and the wandering isle of Delos : — celebrate, oh ! 


ye yoiitlLS, the cliarms of tliat goddess, who dehghts in flowing rivers 
and the shades of trees ; who lives on the mountain of Algidus, among 
the impenetrable woods of Erjinanthus, and on the green and fertile 

Virgil alludes less fi-equently to the climate and scenery of Italy, 
biit he was thoroughly imbued with the mild splendor which adorns 
that beautiful clhue. Though he seems always wishing for the cool 
valleys of Hsemus, and is most acutely appreciative of the more clas- 
sical regions of Greece, he was by no means indifferent to the diversi- 
fied charms of his native land. This we know fi'om his history, can 
perceive it in his writiugs, and have felt it most when standing amid 
the glories that mantle his chosen grave. 

The Romans, not less than the Greeks, in feeling their way 
through mythologic gloom, were conscious of a pi'eternatural awe 
which gleamed upon them from cavernous waters and darkened from 
shaggy hills. " Where is a lofty and deeply-shaded grove," writes 
Seneca, " filled with venerable trees, whose mterlaciug boughs shut out 
the face of heaven, the grandeur of the wood, the silence of the place, 
the shade so dense and uniform, infuse into the breast the notion of a 
divinity." Hence the quickened imagination of the ancients, striving 
to supply a void which nature had created but could not fill, peoj^led 
each grove, fountain, or grotto, mth a captivating ti'ain of sylvan 
deities. Intercourse with these, in the scenes which they sanctified, 
was deemed more ausj)icious to health and morals, than the arid and 
vitiating influence of crowded towms. Plutarch, for instance, after 
assei'ting that the troubled hfe of cities is injurious to the study of 
philosophy, and that solitude is the school of wisdom, proceeds to 
show, that the pure air of the country, and the absence of all tlisturb- 
ance from within, conduce most to the instruction and ])urificatiou 
of the soul. " On this account, also," he adds, " the temi)los of the 


gods, as mauy as were constructed iii aucieut times, M-ere ahvajs in 
solitary places, especially tlie temples of the Muses and of Pan, and 
of the Nymphs of Apollo, and of as many as were guides of harmony; 
judging, I suppose, that cities were necessarily fearful and polluted 
places for the education of youth." 

In contemplating the relative influence of scenery on mind, we 
shall prolialdy conclude that mountains exert the greatest and most 
salutary power. The intellect of a j^eople, in its primitive unfoldings 
amid elemental grandeurs, lies as it were in Nature's arms, feeds at her 
breast, looks up into her face, smiles at her smiles, shuddei-s at her 
frowns, is adorned with her gracefulness, and fortified with her 
streng-th. Beauty and sublimity are thus interfused and commingled 
with the whole substance of the nrind, as the glow of perfect health 
mixes itself ^^dth the whole substance of the body, unthought of, it 
may be, until the ^\'orld is reminded of its potent fascination in deeds 
the mio-htiest and most beneficent. The mind and works of indi^^Lduals 
tend strongly to assimilate with the nature of their parent soil. Dr. 
Clarke thought that the lofty genius of Alexander Avas nourished by 
the majestic presence of mount Olympus, under the shadow of which 
he may be said to have been born and bred. Grand natural scenery 
tends permanently to affect the character of those cradled in its 
laosom, is the nursery of patriotism the most firm and eloquence the 
most thrillmg. Elastic as the air they breathe, free and joyous as the 
torrents that dash through their rural possessions, strong as the granite 
highlands from which they wring a hardy livelihood, the enterprising 
children of the hills, noble and high-minded by original endowment, 
are like the glorious regions of rugged adventure they love to occupy. 
This is an universal rule. The Foulahs dwelHng on the high Alps of 
Africa, are as superior to the trilies li\nng beneath, a.s the inhabitants 
of Cashmere are al)0ve the Hindoos, or as the Tyrolese are nobler 


than the Aral) race. The physical aspect and moral traits of nations 
are in a great measure influenced hj their local position, circumstances 
of climate, popular traditions, and the scenery in the midst of wliich 
they arise. The transition firom the monotonous plains of Lombardy 
to the hold precipices of Switzerland is, in outward nature, exactly 
like that, in inward character, from the crouching and squahd appear- 
ance of the l)rutalized peasant, to the indej^endent air and indomitable 
energy of the free-born and intelligent mountaineer. The athletic 
form and fearless eye of the latter bespeaks the freedom he has won to 
enjoy and perpetuate, the invigorating elements he buftets in hardy 
toil, and the daring aspirations he is fearless and fervid to indulge. 
Liberty has ever preferred to dwell in high places, and thence comes 
she down through fields and towns, revealing the glory of her counte- 
nance, and diifusing her inspiration through undaunted breasts. 

" Of old sat Freedom on tJie heights, 
The thunders breaking at her feet : 
Above her shook the stariy lights : 
She heard the torrents meet. 

Within her palace she did rejoice, 

Selt-gathered in her prophet-mind ; 
But fragments of her mighty voice 

Came rolling on the wind." 

There is in the elements of tmr liuinanity a perpetual symjiathy 
with the accomj)animents of its first development. Nearl}' all the 
heroism, moral excellence, and ennobhng literature of the world, has 
been produced by those who, in infancy and youth, were fostered by 
the influence of exalted regions, where rocks and wilderness are piled 
ill bold and iuiuiitable shapes of savage grandeur, tinged Avith the hues 


of untold ceuturies, aud over wliieli awe-iiispirhig storms often sweep 
with thunders in their train. This is the influence which more tlian 
half created the Shakspeares, Miltons, Wordsworths, Scotts, Coleridges, 
Irvings, Coopers, Bryants, and Websters of the world ; aud without 
much personal acquaintance with such scenes, it is impossible for a 
reader to comprehend their highest individuality of character so as 
fully to relish the best c_[ualities of their works. 

Nearest allied to mountains in their natural effects, is the influence 
of oceans on national mind. The infinite is most palpably impressed 
upon the lioundless deep ; and wherever thought is accustomed mth 
unimpeded wing to soar from plains, or traverse opening vistas through 
towering hills, that it may hover over the azure waste of waters 
becalmed, or outspeed their foam-crested billows in wildest storms, 
there will literature present the brightest hneameuts and possess the 
richest worth. The Greek was a hardy mountaineer, with the most 
dehcate faculties of body and soul, but he was not imprisoned by his 
mountains. Whenever he scaled a height, old Ocean, gleaming with 
eternal youth, wooed him to her embrace, m order to bear hun to 
some hapjDy island of her far-off domain. On every hand constantly 
appeared the two greatest stimulants on earth to emotion and thought. 
The voice of the Mountains, and the voice of the Sea, " each a mighty 
voice," were ever rousing and guiding him ; each counteractmg the 
ultra influence of its opposite. The sea exj^anded the range and scope 
of his thoughts, which the mountain-valleys might have hurtfuUy 
restrained. For want of this salutary blending of excitement and 
control, it is, perhaps, mainly owing that neither Tyre nor Carthage, 
notwithstanding their power aud wealth, occupies any notable place in 
the intellectual history of mankind. But to the Greeks, the waste of 
waters wa.s an inexhaustible mme of mental wealth. They were an 
amphibious race, lords of laud and sea. On shore aud afloat they 


were eager listeners to the two great heralds, "Liljerty's chosen music," 
calling them to freedom ; and nobly did they answer to the call, when 
the sound of the mighty Pan was ringing on their soul, at ]\Iarathon 
and Thermopyhe, at Salamis and Platea. 

Thii'lwall, and Frederic Schlegel, have Loth called attention to 
the fact, that the literature of the West is differenced from the litera- 
ture of the East, l)y the same character which distinguishes Europe 
from its neighboring continents, — the great range of its coasts, com- 
pared with the extent of its surface. And Goethe suggests that " per- 
haps it is the sight of the sea from youth upward, that gives English 
and Spanish poets such an advantage over those of inland countries." 
Herein the great German undoubtedly spoke from his own feelings ; 
for he never saw the sea till he went to Italy in his thirty-eighth year ; 
and " many-sided " as he was, he doubtless A\'ould have been a much 
greater and more comprehensive master had he dwelt nearer the ocean 
strand. Francis Horn, in his survey of German Hterature, alludes to 
this point. " Whatever is indefinite, or seems so, is out of keeping 
with Goethe's whole frame of mind : every thing with him is terra 
firma or an island : there is nothing of the infinitude of the sea. This 
conviction forced itself upon me, when for the fii-st time, at the north- 
ernmost extremity of Germany, I felt the sweet thrilling produced by 
the highest sublimity of Nature. Here Shakspeare alone comes for- 
ward, whom one finds every Avhere, on mouutauis and in valleys, in 
forests, by the side of rivers and of brooks. Thus far Goethe may 
accompany him : but in sight of the sea, Shakspeare is by himself" 
Solger, also dwelling far in the inteiior, lamented the necessary 
remoteness of a power, habitual converse with which, a chance \dew 
had assured him, would produce the noblest efltects. He is si^eaking 
of his first sight of the sea: — "TTei'e, fV.i- the first time, I felt the 
impression of tl:c illiniitaMc, as produced hy an object of sense, in its 
full majesty. " 


Alfieri jiccustoinecl liimsflf to lonely walks on the wild sca-sliore 
near Marseilles, and those loeal influences gave a jjerpetual tone and 
energy to his mind. Every evening, after plunging in Neptune's 
domain, he would retreat to a recess where the land jutted out, and 
there would he sit, leaning against a high rock which concealed from 
his sight the land behind him, Avhile before and around he beheld 
nothing but the sea and the heavens. 

" Blue roll'd the waters, blue tlie sky 
Spread like an ocean bung on liigb." 

The sun, sinking into the waves, was lighting up and embelhshing 
these two immensities ; and there he passed many an hour in auspicious 
rumination and mental joy. Happy are they who love the scent of 
wild flowers in soHtary woods, and with equal gladness listen to the 
melody of waters as they die along the smooth beach, or crash in 
thunders against the craggy coast. Thiice happy are the ardent wor- 
shipers at some mountain-shrine, whence they may contemplate a 
scene hke this under " the ojieniug eye-lids of the morn," or when the 
bold outlines of great Nature's temple are thrown into fine relief 
against a sky crimsoned with sunset hues. The rising of day at sea, 
and descending day on the hills, are the most sublime and suggestive 
scenes man can xiew. The sun marries eaith and ocean in harmony 
full of heavenly awe. This is felt at evening, when there is no filmy 
haze to break the softness of the west, where golden rays sj^read 
gently thi'ough the highest ether, and all is blended over the vast and 
glowing concave ; or when in lurid splendor he ghdes from peak to 
peak, his rays flashed and reflected from cloud to cloud, as he sinks 
fi'om hill to hill, presaging coming storms. Not less fascinating is the 
magic of light on Ijlue unrufiled waters sleeping unilisturljed at early 

30 SCENERY AND 31 1 N D . 

dawu, or gently curliug tlieir rij^pliug sm-tace to catch the dancing 
sunbeams and reflect their mimic glories. To one standing on earth, 
the god of day appears with weary pace to seek repose ; but at sea, 
he rises all fresh and glowing from his briny couch, not in softened 
beauty, but full of dazzling splendor, Ijursting at once across the 
threshold of the deep, with the fiiTQ and conscious step of immortal 
youth. Then, earth, aii-, and sky, are all in imison, and their calm 
suljlime repose is rapture to the grandest souls. With Beattie's ]\Im- 
strel, they are ready to exclaim, 

" Ob, bow canst tbou reiiouuce tbo boundless store 

Of cbai-ms whicb Natui'e to ber votary yields ! 
Tbe warbling woodland, tbe resounding sbore, 

Tbe pomp of groves, and garniture of fields ; 
Ail tbat tbe genial ray of moming gilds, 

Aiid all tbat echoes to tbe song of even, 
AU that tbe mountam's sbelteiing bosom shields, 

And all tbe dread magnificence of heaven. 
Oh, how canst thou renounce, and hope to be forgiven ! " 

Lakes, also, have a marked influence on mind. Switzerland hits 
ever been a favorite resort for those who are rich in native endowment, 
and whose best wealth is elicited by contact with natui'al greatness. 
The most timiultuous spirits have greatest need of repose, and with 
keenest relish enjoy the placid and quiet feelings which belong pecu- 
liarly to a lake — " as a body of still water under the influence of no 
current ; reflecting therefore the cloutls, the hght, and all the imagery 
of the sky and surrounding hUls ; exi)ressing also and making visible 
the changes of the atmosphere, and motions of the lightest breeze, 
and subject to agitation only from the winds — ■ 

S C E N E R Y A N D MIND. 31 

" The visible scene 
Would enter unawares into his mind 
With all its solemn iniajforv, its rocks, 
Its woods, and that imcortain heaven received 
Into the bosom of the staidy lake ! " 

One cannot easily walk unmoved where water, fresli from infum- 
tain-springs, " dotli make sweet music witli tli' enamell'd stones," and 
verdant islands float far out on a surface resembling molten silver, 
thus aftbrding the most enchauting objects to the excursive view. 
Around this central mirror, prone to the dazzling sun, let shrubbery 
and trees wave to the touch of zej)liyrs, terraces display their tangled 
beauties, fields and gardens, studded with elegant villas, swell towards 
bleak hills, surmounted by peerless and brilliant Aljjs, all magnificently 
repeated in the limpid wave below, and you have the bright summer 
scene which glows from the bosom of Leman in the foreground of 
Mont Blanc, and renders supremely beautiful the sacred solitude so 
delightful at Lucerne. AVatt l)otanized on the fragrant l>anks of Loch 
Lomond, and fortified his severer studies by the rugged majesty of the 
Grampians. Haller, Zimmermann, and Lavater, sunk many a sorrow 
in the lake around Zurich, and Gibbon wrought out his mighty task 
under the lofty inspiration enjoyed at Lausanne. The product and 
proof of this jiotency are signalized iu the memorable passage, where 
he describes the close of his vast undertaking : " I have presumed to 
mark the moment of conception, (amid the ruins of Rome) ; I shall 
now commemorate the hour of my final deliverance. It ^^'as on the 
day, or rather night, of the 27th June, 1787, between the hours of 
eleven and twelve, that I wrote the last lines of the last i^age, in a 
summer-house in my garden. After laying down my pen, I took 
several turns in a covered walk of acacias, which commands a prospect 

32 S C K N E R Y A N D MIND. 

of tlie country, the lake, and the mountains. The air was temperate, 
the sky Tvas serene, the silver orb of the moon was reflected uj^ou the 
waters, and all Nature was silent. I Mill not dissemUe the first emo- 
tions of joy on the recovery of my freedom, and ])erhaps the establish- 
ment of my fame." 

Fountains, brooks, and livei-s, im^iart some of the fairest aspects to 
the landscape, and stamp many A^aluable impressions on the mind. If 
the sea most abounds in that salt which seasons substantial and endur- 
ing thought, those streams, however small, which connect the remotest 
island thei'ewith, are not entirely devoid of like power. It would 
seem that a sagacious love of nature was the true Egeria who taught 
wisdom to Numa in the grotto. "V\Taen he worshiped the njTnph at 
the fountain, and Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in the 
water, they appear to have made that element necessary in the loves 
of all minds tenderly or profoundly moved. Petrarch sung of it at 
the source of the Sorgue, Vaucluse, and by the rushing Rhone at 
A-vngnon. Rousseau celebrated its inspiring influence in the I'ural 
haunts he most loved ; and Byron prolonged the strain over almost 
eveiy renowned sea, lake, liver, and fountain of the world. " ^AHiere 
a spring rises or a liver flows," said Seneca, " there should we build 
altars and ofl'er sacrifices," — an impulse which has been felt by the best 
hearts of every age. A thousand charms gather around one of those 
little currents of " loosened silver " that sing along the mossy channel, 
or leap down craggy heights, over Avhicli trees throw their protecting 
arms and iml)ilje grateful spi'ay. I low invigorating, with angle and 
Ijook, or all alone with one's own thoughts, to trace the wild Init glad- 
some oftsprmg of the liills, now contracted by gloomy firs and half lost 
in dark ravines, — now sparkling from the deepest shadow, ])roken 
into dimples and bounding to the sun, — anon sweeping wild flowt-rs to 
its bosom, anil with aiigniented wave washing the gnarled and spread- 


iug roots whicli jut out liere aud there from impeuding banks, witli 
fringes of di-ipping weeds, — aud finally losiug its tributary beauty in 
a mightier stream. " Laugli of the Mountain," is the title given to a 
brook by a Spanish poet ; and Bryant is not less ha})py in character- 
izing this fail- feature of the world. 

" The rivubt 
Sends fortli glad sounds, and tripinng o'er its bed 
Of pebbly sands, or leaping down tbe rocks, 
Seems, -with continuous laugbter, to rejoice 
In its own being." 

The chief rivers of every clime have ever furnished the favorite 
themes- of leading minds. Daiius was so charmed with the river 
Tearus, that he commemorated his attachment by erecting a votive 
column on its brink. Where rolled Ilyssus, was the best school 
of Athens ; and on the shores of Arno and Cam, Milton acquired his 
best training and enjoyed the happiest life ; as did Thompson, thi-dled 
with the murmurs of the Jed. The philosoj^hers of Shiraz comjiosed 
their most celebrated works near the shores of the Rochnabad ; while 
by the sacred Ganges, near Benares, erudite teachers instruct their 
pupils, after the manner of Plato, walking in theu* gardens. Aufidus, 
the Tiber, aud the Po, had their respective admirers in Horace, VirgU, 
and Ovid, and the reader need not be told that all tongues unite 
to celebrate the Rhine. Calimachus has immortahzed the beautiful 
waters of the Inachus, while the Miucio aud the Tagus boast their 
Boccacio and Camoens; and the lovers of English letters know full 
well that the Severn, Trent, Avon, Derwent, Dee, and Thames, have 
been distinguished by the praises of the mightiest pens. 

Modern literature, the production of northern regions, is imbued 
with a wild and romantic element strongly distinguished fi'om the 


severe simplicity of tlie classic soutli. This contivost has its counter- 
part, and much of its producing cause, in tlie characteristic scenery 
of its origin. In old Greece, the lovely climate had just A-icissitudes 
enougli to impress a happy variety on the experience and coinage of 
mind ; while their free institutions, and the deep wisdom of their phi- 
losophers, conduced towards the production of those imperishable 
monuments of grandeur and beauty before which the genius of 
humanity still reverently bends. But England, and the kindi-ed 
regions of Germany, have in theii- less favored climates a depth of 
gloom which is known to characterize the northern spirit, in which 
external nature is admirably harmonious with the intellectual struc- 
ture, by its influence thereupon eliciting the noblest eiforts. The 
literature of a country is truly national, just so far as it beare upon 
it the stamp of national character. Among the external causes which 
tend to create this exalted type of individuality, natural scenery and 
climate are undoubtedly the most ob^dous. The features of their 
native landscape give form and color to the thoughts and words of 
all creative minds. For instance, through the living speech, and over 
the speaking page of the Anglo-Saxon, and Anglo-American race, one 
can easily recognize the daily vicissitudes and fluctuating seasons, — 
those tints and hues of vernal beauty, summer promise, autumnal 
wealth, and wdntry desolation, — those dimly shrouding mists whit'li 
alternate with biilliant light, — and which render objects more lovely 
and harmonious to those who realize the iuAasible and perceive the 
spiritual, who unite all worlds in the comprehensive grasp of their 
imagination, and thus substantiate in effectiA-e use that which to otliers 
is only shadowy and remote. 

As is the scenery, so are national letters and works of art. We 
children of mists, clouds, woods, darkening tempests, and weeping 
rain, produce and prefer the beauty of mystery and indetiuiteness, in 


otlier words, romantic beauty. If we would cultivate a keeu pleasui'e 
iu definite beauty, as it is seen in Homeric literature, and as it stood 
mightily exemplified in the severely gorgeous splendor of tlie Acropo- 
lis, we must transport om- mind at least, if not our person, to otlier 
climes. There we may best emulate the consummate excellence which 
results from the coalescence of alacrity with depth, and which was 
most happily impressed upon the language Plato spoke, and in the 
symmetry which still survives in the fragmentary Propylsea and 
Olpnjjeiou. But if we would behold at once combined the definite 
beauty, shapely vastness, instantaneously recognised unity, and cheer- 
ful grandeur, most characteristic of the scenery, Uterature, and art of 
an immortal land, let us for a moment glance at the magnificent pano- 
rama, as seen from the lofty terrace through the golden-hued colon- 
nades of the Pai'thenon. Linger here a while till the eye becomes 
accustomed to the scene, and imagination is able to refit the mutilated 
forms, and you will easily understand the spirit of the old religion, 
and its consecrated works. " Tliere is no mixtm'e of light and shade, 
no half-conceahng, half-revealing, as in the symboHcal cathedi-als of 
the Christian faith. There are no rays of divine darkness running 
alongside of the rays of light, and sinking into the ground beneath 
the altar of the East. All is open to the unbounded blue ether above 
and the vertical rays of a noonday sun, and the trembling visitations 
of the unimpeded moonbeams, a very house of light, imstained by 
painted glass, imdarkened by vaulted roofs, unintercepted by columns 
and arcades, and with the iastantaneous perception of unity mimarred 
by the cruciform shape." Who can ever forget the electrical effect 
produced when first beholding the blue sky between the columns of a 
classic ruin ? The shape, the tallness, which makes the space seem 
narrow, the straight hard line Avhich renders the perfect contour so 
definite, all startle the eye with its firm and stable symmetry, even 


after one has been long accustomed to tlie reverently swerving lines 
of a cathedral, and to the hold and trustful curve of the Gothic arch, 
throwing itself from pillar to pillar, with its segmental circle, like the 
unfolding of Christian truth here below, whose perfect whole is in 

The mental creations of central Europe, and the still more roman- 
tic regions of the noi'th, are equally characterized by an indefiniteness 
exactly comporting with the asj^ects and temperature of the material 
kingdoms ai'ound. The human soul, thirsting after unmensity, immu- 
tabihty, and imbounded duration, needs some tangible object from 
which to take its flight, — some point whence to soar from the present 
into the futm-e, from the hmited to the iafinite, — and is hkely to be 
most vigorous in its capacity and productions where such fecUities 
most abound. Mere space, contemplated under the dome of heaven, 
prostrates, rather than sustaias, the mind ; but Alpine heights, seen at 
a glance where earth and sky mingle, constitute the quickening and 
fortifying regions where mundane understanding and celestial imagi- 
nation most happily blend in the suggestion of thoughts such as com- 
mon language never expressed. Deep caverns, contracted lakes, pro- 
jecting crags, impending avalanches, and ghttering pinnacles, which 
rise in serene majesty till they are lost in mist and cloud, rolling over 
their summits like the waves of ocean, realize pi'os])ects which seem to 
conduct the coutemplator from this to another world. The magnifi- 
cence thus poured on the mind natm-ally imbues its faculties, and will 
be reproduced in hving speech, or for ever glow from a graphic pen. 
The sohtude seems holy where every grand feature constitutes a 
hymn, and a sublime melancholy impresses itself ujion the thoughtful 

Northern legends and a])])ariti(^ns jiai'take nuich more of the 
spiiitual and infinite than did the s^lvan deities and senii-linnian 

S C E N E It Y A N D MIND. 37 

mythology of tlie classic South ; and modern romance, with its pre- 
vailing gloom and indefinite character, is much more appalling than 
the sunny and social personifications which antiquity produced. The 
natm-al phenomena which abound in a wild, uncultivated country, 
powerfully conspire to create the illusions of fancy which so much 
modify reason's severest works. The preternatural appearances com- 
monly said to occur in the German mountains and Scottish highlands, 
whose lofty summits and unreclaimed valleys are shrouded with tem- 
pestuous clouds, may be exjalained on the same philosophical princi^^le, 
whence the most potent local inspiration is derived. That which is 
strongly felt, is not only easily seen, but as easily believed ; and an 
appetite for the marvellous, constantly excited, is made keen to detect 
and multiply visions and prognostics, until each heath or glen has its 
unearthly visitants, each family its omen, each hut its boding spectre, 
and superstition, systematized into a science, is expounded by wizards 
and gifted seers. The character of a primitive mythology, mingling 
more or less with the best literature of a nation, is always intimately 
connected with that of the scenery and climate in which it arose. 
Thus the graceful Nymj)hs and Naiads of Greece ; the Peris of Persia, 
gay as the colors of the rainbow, and odorous as flowers ; the Fairies 
of England, who in aiiy circles " dance theii- ringlets to the whistling 
wind," have forms and functions delicate and beautiful, like the coun- 
tries in which they dwell ; while " the Elves, Bogles, Brownies, and 
Kelpies, which seem to have legitimately descended, in ancient High- 
land verse, from the ScandinaA-ian Dvergar, Nisser, tfec, are of a stunted 
and malignant aspect, and are celebrated for nothing better than 
maiming cattle, bewildering the benighted traveller, and conjuring out 
the souls of newborn infants." 

It is an occasion for special gratitude to God that there are yet 
wild spots and wildernesses left, unstained fountains and virgin hills, 


wliere avarice has little dominion, and whence thought may take the 
widest range. These exercise analogous power over the popular miud, 
furnish the purest stimulus to noble exertion, and have ever developed 
the strongest patriotism, inteusest energy", and most valuable letters of 
the world. So far as we can derive capacities from inanimate things, 
and be impelled T)y the activities which depend on place, mountains, 
moors, forests and i-ocky shores, are the locahties most favorable for 
vigorous and prolific life. The language we speak, and the glorious 
hteratm-e it has preserved, are the accumulated products and historical 
proof of this. When the Saxons were called in as friends and alhes 
by the Romanized Britons, they assembled in great numbers with their 
king Hengist, during the fifth and sixth centuries of the Chiistiau era, 
and Englaud continued to be peopled by them. But instead of fi'iends 
they soon became masters, and the ancient inhabitants, the Britons, 
disappeared; after which, the Saxon tongue, laws, government, and 
manners soon overspread the laud ; so that it may literally be said, 
" the British constitution came out of the woods of Germany." 

The real and ideal are most closely allied in the grandest creations 
of nature and the finest conceptions of miuel. Although hoary clifis 
and soaring heights are among the most palpable facts of earth, it is 
on them that we always seem to be most in the domain of fancj". It 
is impossible to overstate oui- indebtedness to those gigantic distm'ban- 
ces of the solid globe, by which mountains, with all theu- accompani- 
ments of wild and rugged features, were upheaved, and substituted, in 
bold and i)ictures(pie beauty, for dead level plains. Without this 
contrast of expressive objects, earth would liave told out little of those 
sublime truths, of which now every hill is a prophet, every stone a 
book. The ancients frequently erected temples and statues to the 
genius of the place; and these were often in retired localities, like 
lero, the saci-ed city of yEscula|iins, (>ceu]iying a inountain-hollnw, the 

S C E N E K Y A N D MIND. 39 

most secluded in Greece. According to Pliuy, his countrpiieu, too, 
felt that Minerva, as well as Diana, inhabits the forests. Among the 
woods of Etruria, the great lawgiver and ruler to whom Home was 
under greater obligations than to Romulus, sought refuge from the 
cares that attended the government of a tm'bulent but growing nation, 
and was the first pagan sovereign ever inspii'ed to erect a fane to Peace 
and Faith. Akenside finely alludes to the sacred awe, with which the 
wilderness and hidden dells, stretching along the acclivities of a high 
mountain, are contemplated by persons of refined imagination : 

" Mark the sable -n-oods, 
That shade sublime yon mountiiin's nodding brow. 
With what religious awe the solemn scene 
Commands yoiu' steps ! as if the reverend form 
Of Minos, or of Numa, should foreake 
Th' Elysian seats ; and down the embowering glade 
Move to yom- pausing eye." 

"WHien we meditate in plains, the globe appears youthful and 
imbecile ; among crags and mountains, it exhibits energy and the 
gravity of age. AIL primitive aspects indicate a deep solemnity, and 
generate invincible power. We feel the spirit of the universe upon 
us, and are not surprised that when the shepherd in Vii-gil sought 
Love, he found him a native of the rocks. Traces of the di\anity 
most abound in localities apart from throng-s of mankind, where one 
can best establish the equilibrium of the soul by that of solitude, feel- 
ing a life on the surface of things and eternity in their depths. Natm"e 
sheds much of a supernatural influence around the superior souls, con- 
stituted in harmony -^Hth herself Physical elements become plastic in 
the hands of such, and receive an impression not less brilliant than 

40 S C E N E R Y A N D MIND. 

euduriiig. Tlieir miud is made to act as a prism, under wliose influence 
the simplest elements assume tLe most exquisite combination of hues ; 
and thus inanimate kingdoms and artificial lessons are converted into 
golden visions of thought and feeling. Form, color, light and shade 
are attendant handmaids, ever ready to impart a graceful and peren- 
nial utterance to the sublimest conceptions, and adorn rugged strength 
with charms more real and captivating than that of words. 

This is as often verified in art as in literature. Hogarth began life 
a silver-engraver. Chantry a wood-carver, and Raeburn a goldsmith ; 
but ruled by the love fed in early intercourse with nature, theii' com'se 
was changed, and each was matm-ed in his pecuhar department of 
excellence. Eomney, when but a child, studied coloring before the 
rainbow, the purple perspective and gleaming lake ; he took his fii'st 
lessons in composition through wild woods, fruitful valleys, and over 
the loftiest mountains within reach. Mortimer with strongest impulse 
studied the sea, chafed and foaming, fit " to swallow navigation uj")," 
with ships driven before tempests, or strown in ruin. These, passion- 
ately seen and felt, gave him a skilful artistic hand. Richard Cosway 
was first kindled with a love for j^ainting by a chance glance at two 
])icturesque works from Rubens, at Tiverton ; and a beautiful piece of 
Avood is still shown in Suffolk, where the ancient trees, winding glades, 
and sunny nooks, inspired Gainsborough with the love of art. Thence 
he emerged the first landscape painter of his age. A few prints, illus- 
trative of INIichael Angelo's genius, found in his fether's library, and 
conned beneath gnarled oaks, made the enthusiastic FusiH a master in 
his way ; and a perusal of " The Jesuit's Perspective," when only eight 
years old, led an observant youth into the open fields, and ])re])ared 
the way for Sir Joshua Reynolds to become the highest model and 
most elegant teacher of British art. It is well known that Salvator 
Rosa once resided with a band of robl)ers, and that tlie iiii})ressions 


received from tlie rocks, caves, dens, and momitains tljey iuhaliited, 
gave a decided tone and direction to his taste. His original bent M-as 
tlius so strongly developed, that he loved rather to stand on the ruins 
of nature, than to admire her soft and beautifid condjinations ; hence 
his imagination became daring and impetuous, his pencil rugged and 
sublime, from prolific sources armed to throw a savage grandeur over 
all his -works. Claude Lorraiu, on the contrary, spent his hapj^iest 
days in sunny scenes, where the earth was enamelled with flowers, and 
heaven's mild radiance beamed perpetually on his brow. He early 
learned to mix a pallet of colors from every realm of beauty, and all 
his pictures teem with loveliness and peace. 

In a fine picture, as in a favorite l)ook, it is easy to identify what 
we behold with the life of the author ; and probably we shall trace 
his first impressions in the peculiarity of his style, as well as in the 
general tenor of his thoughts. Milton found his most genial inspira- 
tion amidst the embowered lawns of Valloml)rosa ; Gray was pei'ma- 
nently benefited by the solitude of the Chartreuse ; and Johnson 
never rose higher in refined sentiment, than on the sea-beaten rock of 
lona. To the great bard of Paradise Lost, natm'e ever imparted a 
clear and steady light, shining brightly through the storms of tumul- 
tuous life, and kindling up, when aU else was dark, a lustre worthy of 
Eden in its first bloom. Shakspeare possessed the most intense fond- 
ness for natural beauty, and displayed it in all his works. " Images of 
rural scenes are for ever floating on his mind, and there Ls scarce an 
object, from the lofty mountain to the sequestered valley, from the 
dark tempest to the gray dawn and placid moonlight, from di-eary 
winter to warm and fragrant spring, that he has not depicted ; gentle 
aii's, and mm-muring rUls, and sequestered groves, are features as 
prominent in his dramas, as the beings that haunt them ; the vo\\-s 
of love become indeed silver soft as they are whis]iered bv night 


among pomegranate groves ; life is more sweet among trees, and 
stones, and running brooks, afar fi-om public haunts ; the gentle boy 
sleeps more fitly among embowering woods, watched by fairy forms, 
and sung to rest by the du-ge of affection." Like Milton, Shakspeare 
seems to have dwelt with sincerest pleasure on the peaceful images of 
rural hfe, and no one familiar Avith his history and thoughts can be 
surprised that, as soon as he was enabled to escape from the artificial- 
ness of metropolitan hfe, he hastened to spend the evening of his 
existence among the fpiiet hills and vales where in careless youth he 
had wandered, gathering mnumerable germs of the richest and most 
magnificent thoughts. Sir Walter Scott's great art lay in exact de- 
scriptions of nature and of character, a facility attained by the con- 
stant ])ursuit of some piece of striking scenery, or in Avatching the 
spontaneous exhibition of unsophisticated character. Fancy was re- 
sorted to only for filling wp the interstices, or supjjlyiug vacancies in 
the originals Avhich nature furnished. In youth, he read IIool's Tasso 
and Percy's Eehques of ancient poetry, beneath a huge platauus tree, 
within the ruins of an old arbor near Kelso, the most beautiful and 
romantic \Tllage in Scotland. In fidl view lay the Tweed and the 
TeAdot, both famous rivers, the ancient castles of Roxburgh and a 
ruined abbey, with the modern mansion of Fleurs, a landscape so 
situated as to coml)ine the ideas of ancient baronial splendor with 
those of modern taste. These were \4AHdly associated with the grand 
features of the scene around the young ol)server ; and the histoiical 
iucidents, or traditional legends connected Avith them, gave to his im- 
passioned soul an intense reverence for ancient ruins and chivalrous 
entei'piise. Thenceforth his faculties were all awake, and Htted tor 
tlicir work ; giving to every field its battle, and to every rivulet its 
song. A true man's productions everywhere are the ty])es ot Ins 
mind, and ti\ral tlic st-enes and circumstances of his earlv trannng. 


Edimiiid Burke grew up encompassed by tlie gorgeous scenery around 
the castle of Kileobuau ; and his great living successor in Parliament, 
Shell,* gathei'ed the best energies of his eloquence near the fine woods 
of Faithley, and the noble seat of the Bolton family, when the sullen 
roar of the ocean used to come over the hills to greet his youth, under 
the shadow of Dimbrody Abbey in ruins, whei'e the Nore and the 
Barrow met in a deep and splendid conflux with his native Suir. The 
minds of these great men were the ti'anscripts of the first scenes they 
loved ; and it is most pertinent to this theme to remind the reader 
that one, perhaps greater than they, the master statesman and orator 
of his age, was cradled in the rugged bosom of Alpine New Hamp- 
shire, where all is cool, colossal, sublime. 

On a flowery morning of spring, or in the stillness of a clear au- 
tumnal night, — ^in summer fruitfulness or wintry desolation, — we feel, 
if we do not hear, the rusliing of that stream of life, which from Orion 
flows down to the very heart of earth. Hence the declaration of 
Bui'us, — " There is scarcely any earthly object gives me more — I do 
not know how I should call it 'pleasure — but something which exalts 
me — something which enraptures me — than to walk in the sheltered 
side of the wood, or high plantation, in a cloudy winter-day, and hear 
the stormy wind howling among the trees, and roaring over the plain. 
It is my best season for devotion." Campbell, too, coiuled the 
heath-clad wilderness — " bleak — lifeless — and broken into numberless 
glens — strewn with rocks — and scantily clothed with copse-wood ; 
from the dusky covert of which he could observe the wUd deer darting 
forth at intervals and again vanishing in a deejier and more distant 
shade. Bold rocks, fringed with wild flowers, rising in huge and often 
grotesque masses through the purple heath ; streams and toi'i'ents 

* Wiile these sheets .oi'e passuig tbi-ougli the press, news is received of the death of this 
eminent iiiau. 

44 S C E N E R Y A N B MIND. 

\\iii(liiiL;' pciicctull}- througli tlie deep grassy glens, or dasliiug, in clouds 
of spray, over some rugged precipice ; the slirill })ipe of the curlew — 
the blithe carol of the lark over head — the bleating of the goats from 
the stee]i pastoral acclivities — the scream of the eagle from his eyiie 
in the rocks f — these were the sights and sounds which enlivened his 
rambles and supplied his -woi-tli. The youth of Byron ^-as spent 
mainly on the sea-shore, the heaths, and the hills, of the Doric north ; 
and when more secluded in Newstead Abbey, the recollections of 
childhood moulded his first song. 

" Wlieii I roved, a 3'oung liighlalider, o'er tlie dark heath, 
And dimL'd thy steep summit, O Morven ! of snow ; 
To gaze on the torrent that tliuuder'd beucatli, 
Or the mist of the tempest that gathcrVl below." 

(iladsoiiie wanderings in the sunshine among the hills, enlivened 
by melodious waters and the song of birds, the changeful aspects of 
fields and woods, gleamings of the far-ofi:' sea, and mountains piercing 
through clouds a pathway to the skies, — this is the pai'ailise of all 
minds iiobl}' endowed, and not yet entirely debased. It is when thus 
environed and exercised that lofty impulses are kindled in genial blood. 
Thus was felt and expressed the grandeur, beauty, pathos, dazzling 
light and freezing gloom which mingled in the memories of Childe 
1 Ian lid. lie had profoundly experienced the truth that, 

" To sit on rocks, to miisc o'or flood and fi'll, 
'I'd slowly trae<> the forest's shady scene, 
WliiTc things that own not man's dominion dwell, 
And mortal foot hath nc'i'r or rar.-ly been; 
To climb the trackless nmuiitain all unseen. 
With the wild flock that ne\er needs a fold; 
Alone o'er stee]is and foaming falls to lean ; 
This is not solitude; 'tis but to hold 
Coiiveisc with Nature's charm-;, and view her stores unroH'd." 


We liave purposely avoided copious reference to American 
scenery, artists and authors, as corroborative of tlie positions assumed 
in the foregoing disquisition. "We know something of the pictorial 
illustrations so admirably executed for this work, and would gladly 
allude to the diversified aspects characteristic of art, literature, and 
scenery in our land. But that department has been assigned to other 
and abler pens. Our specific task will conclude with a remark or two 
on the relation which nature sustains to religion, as au auxiliary in the 
highest cultm-e of mmd. 

What scene is more simple, or more subhme, than the vast solitude 
of untainted nature, cast in a fresh yet giant mould, a silent and mighty 
temple of the great God, wherein the pure spirit of love reigns and 
smiles over all ? Pilgrimages were made to the oalcs of Mamre, near 
Hebron, from the time of Abraham to that of Constautine ; and the 
nations sm-rounding the divinely favored tribes conspired to attach the 
idea of veneration to rivers and fountains, and were accustomed not 
only to dedicate trees and groves to their deities, but ever to sacrifice 
on high mountains : customs which were practised by the Jews them- 
selves, pre\'ious to the building of Solomon's temple. The beginning 
of wisdom was among the wilds of Asia, and it was there that the God 
of nature implanted grand ideas in the minds of shepherds meditating 
on those antique plains and heights, teaching them to wonder and 
adore. As the loftiest mountains are sm-mounted with unsullied snow, 
so the purest sentiments crowned their exalted souls, and for ever ren- 
dered them the chief source of fertilizing streams to all lands, through 
every region of thought. 

A little child standing under the heaven bright with stars, once 
asked its mother, — ^" Dear mother, are those yonder the open places, 
which the glory of God shines through ? " Those were the old heavens 
which infancy admu'ed, and they yet proclaim the glory of theu- 


Maker to tlie most matured. The lilUs, the vales, and the ocean, have 
never grown old, but still have wonders as imiumeraLle as they are 
lastmg. Not a realm of nature is unfolded to our gaze that does not 
teem with beauties and sublimities bearing an antiquity more ancient 
than the pvramids. The evening breeze is yet redolent of the balm 
shfd over Canaan, when Isaac went forth to meditate. Ziou's hill has 
survived its temple, and lifts its sacred brow to the same sun that 
shone U2:)0u Thermopylae, and is swept liy the same wind which laid 
the armaments of Xerxes low. The rainbow we to-day admire, is the 
same that was bent near the portal of the Ark ; and the mighty rivers 
of America bear with their billows a murmur kindred to the Nile, as 
it moved the bulrushes of Egypt in which the child Moses nestled, 
watched over Ijy the sisterly' love of jNIiriam. 

To holy men of the earlier times, the exterior and interior life were 
brought into perfect harmony, so as to produce that expansion of heart 
which is the real cause that makes rural existence so dehghtfid to men 
of good will : for so sweet is it to them, that " they whose vei-se of 
yore the golden age recorded, and its bliss on the Parnassian moun- 
tain," seem to have foreseen it in Arcadian di'eams. They loved clear 
waters, aspiring hills, with all the countless forms and tones which 
each returning spring rejiroduced more fair than ever to theu' growing 
appreciation. Nature prompted pui'ifyiug tears in theii" eyes, that 
they might trace the goodness of their God in these his lower works, 
wondering not that tlie Samai'itan woman should have recognized and 
confessed the jNIessiah at the fountain, whom Jewish sages knew not in 
the temple. The fields and level shores were by them connected with 
religious mysteries ; for, Jesus standing T)y the lake of Genesareth 
wlicu tlic iinillitu(h' })ressed upon him, the two boats afloat and the 
occuj)ation of the fishermen, together with the walk through the corn 
with the disciples on the Sabbatli, wei'e designed to make such an 


impression, that one should never enjoy the beauties of nature, or the 
recreations of a country life, without being reminded of the blessed 
Redeemer. But mountains are esjDecially associated with religion 
thi'ough the remembrance of that mount whose name has given a 
universal fame to the jiale verdure of the olive, from that of Tabor, 
and Sinai, and Ephraim, which fed the holy Samuel. We read in the 
Iliad that Hector sacrificed on the top of Ida; and the summits of 
mountains were ever selected, not only Ijy the Greeks, but by nations 
taught direct from heaven, as the most appropriate situations whereon 
their altars should stand. It was on mountains that the only true God 
manifested himself to the Hebrews of old, and it was on them that the 
tremendous mysteiies of redemption were accomplished. Connected 
with these grand objects, and in no small measure by them insjiired, 
was the mighty energy which sent the apostle Paul to Mars Hill, 
preaching Jesus and the resurrection ; and long afterwards, in a feebler 
degree, impelled Edward Ir\-ing to roll " the rich thunders of his awful 
voice," where mute thousands stood enraptured amid the glories of the 
Frith of Forth. 

Persons accustomed to ex]:)loi'e the ruins of religious houses in Eng- 
land, and the scenery peculiar to each, ^vill often be struck with the 
fact that the several orders consulted their highest happiness, as well 
as greatest good, in fixing the site of their respective foundations. 
Evidently, mere convenience, or I'etu-ement, was not their chief aim ; 
they felt that spiritual culture would be most auspicious, where natural 
charms most abound. They believed that in the shrines which Jeho- 
vah had adorned with the clearest impress of his own attributes, and 
in Mhich he had bidden nature coutriljute her richest gifts, — the 
glittering gems of her mineral stores, the faii-est folds of her tinted 
di-apery, the delicate tracery of her interlacuig boughs, the incense of 
her breathing flowers, the music of her gentlest zephyrs, her sighing 


foliage, cliautiug liirds, and gliding waters, — they also eonld most 
suitably offer adoration. Quiet nooks, sliut in by the curving river, as 
Kirkstall ; i-ock\- banks, encompassed Avlth verdant foliage, as Foun- 
tains ; umbrageous and sequestered sea-coasts, as Netley ; green plots 
of smooth sward, traversed by some wUd, romantic stream, as Tiutern ; 
cool and solitary valleys, as Furness ; lovely shores, where the swift 
brook sjiarkles and bounds to the deep, as Beaulieu ;■ — such were the 
homes the early Christians loved. And they had their reward. Their 
persons, their names, and the distinguishing features of theu- creeds, 
trae and false, have mainly passed away, but the scenes of their earthly 
devotions are treasured by all the good. Still we visit their ruins, to 
mourn over their departed glories ; " and still they live in fame, though 
not in life." We may not adopt the theology of those devout build- 
ers, 1)ut it would be well for us to emulate their taste, knowing that 
wliile all subliuiaiy things are transient, "a thing of beauty is a joy 
for ever ! " 

The enthusiastic painter, Gainsborough, exclaimed (Jii his death- 
Ijed, — " "VYe are all going to heaven, and Vand}ke will be of the 
party." May the reader be imbued with something more di\Tiie than 
mei-e taste, that he may survive anguish or ecstasy in the energies of 
faith ; and, soaring amid the infinite glories of the universe, at each 
remove imbil)ing majestic charms of every hue and form, may he for 
ever realize the high significancy of our tlieme,— Scenery and Mind. 


A^ZjZ^. (/t^/t. ^^<^ 



TiiE \dllage of Rondout, founded in 1808, by tlie Delaware and 
Hudson Canal Company, is situated near the Walkill Creek on the 
Hudson, about ninety miles above the city of New- York, and two 
miles distant from Eddyville, where that Canal terminates. 

In the effective and mellow little pictm-e from which om- engrav- 
ing is taken, Mr. Huntington has pleasiagly represented a secluded 
aad romantic nook on the creek, near its entrance to the Hudson. 
In the background is a glimpse of the Catskill mountains. The 
picture is one of a paii" belonging to Gen. John A. Dix, and is one 
of the happiest efforts of the aitLst in this department, especially in 
its coloring. 



EvEBT intellectual being has a longing to see distant lauds. We 
desire to ascertain, hj actual observation, tlie peculiarities of nations, 
the dififerences wMcli exist between the stranger and ourselves, and as 
it might be all that lies beyond our daily experience. This feeling 
seems implanted in our nature, and few who possess the means of 
doing so fail to gratify it. Every day increases the amount of the 
intercourse between the people of different countries, and the happiest 
results may be anticipated from this fusion of nations and the hu- 
manizing influences which are its consequences. Those, however, who 
are forbidden by circumstances to extend their personal observations 
beyond the hmits of their own homes, must be content to derive 
their information on such subjects from the pen, the pencil, and the 

We understand it to be the design of this work to aid in impart- 
ing a poi-tion of the intelligence, necessary to appease these cra\Tngs 
of our nature, and to equahze, as it might be, the knowledge of men 
and things. Our own task is very simple. It will be confined to 


allowing some of tlie leatliug peculiarities of tlie scenery of various 
nations, and to direct the attention of tlie reader to the minor cii'cmn- 
stauces Avhich give character to the landscape, Init wliich are seldom 
alluded to by the writers of graver works. 

The great distinction between American and European scenery, as 
a whole, is to be found in the greater want of finish in the former than 
in the latter, and to the greater supei-fluity of works of art in the 
old world than in the new. Natm-e has certainly made some dif- 
ferences, though there are large portions of continental Em-ope that, 
without their artificial accessories, might well pass for districts in our 
own region ; and ^\hich forcibly remind the traveller of his native 
home. As a whole, it must be admitted that Europe otters to the 
senses sublimer \aews and certainly grander, than are to be found 
within our own borders, unless we resort to the Rocky Mountains, and 
the ranges in California and New Mexico. 

In musing on these subjects, the mind of the imtravelled American 
naturally turns first towards England. He has pictured to himself 
landscapes and scenery on which are impressed the teeming history 
of the past. We shall endeavor to point out the leading distinc- 
tions between the scenery of England and that of America, therefore, 
iis the course that will i)robably be most acceptable to the reader. 

The pi'evalent characteristic of the English landscape is its air of 
snugness and comfort. In these respects it difl:ei's cntii'ely from its 
neighbor, France. The English, no doubt, have a great deal of 
poverty and squalid misery among them. But it is kept surpris- 
ingly out of the ordinary A-iew. Most of it, indeed, is to be found in 
the towns, and even in them it is concealed in out of tlie ^\:\y places 
and streets seldom entered by the stranger. 

Tliere are places in America, more especially in tlie vicinities of 
the lartfc towns, tliat have a strong reseiuhlaiiee to the more crowded 


portions of Eugland, though the hedge is usually wanting and the 
stone wall is more in favor among ourselves than it appears ever to 
have been among our ancestors. The great abundance of wood, in 
this country, too, gives us the rail and the board for our fences, olyects 
which the lovers of the picturesque would gladly see supplanted by 
the l)rier and the thorn. All that part of Staten Island, which lies 
nearest to the quarantine ground, has a marked resemblance to what 
we should term suburban English landscape. The neighborhoods of 
most of the old towns ia the northern States, have more or less of the 
same character ; it Ijeing natural that the descendants of Englishmen 
should have preserved as many of the usages of their forefathers as 
was practicable. We know of no portion of this country that bears 
any marked resemblance to the prevalent charactei-istics of an ordi- 
nary French landscape. In France there are two great distinctive 
features that seem to divide the materials of the views between them. 
One is that of a bald nakedness of fomial grandes routes^ systematically 
lined with trees, a total absence of farm-houses, fences, hedges, and walls, 
little or no forest, except in particular places, scarcely any pieces of 
detached woods, and a husbandry that is remarkable for its stiffiiess 
and formality. The fields of a French acclivity, when the grain is 
rijie, or ripening, have a strong resemblance to an ordinary Manchester 
pattern-card, in which the different cloths, varying in color, are placed 
under the eye at one glance. Tlie effect of this is not j^leasiug. The 
lines being straight and the fields exhibiting none of the freedom of 
natm-e. Stifliiess and formality, indeed, imj^au- the beauty of niue- 
tenths of the French landscapes ; though as a whole the country is 
considered fine, and is certainly very productive. The other distinc- 
tive feature to which we aUude is of a directly contrary character, 
being remarkable for the aflliience of its objects. It often occurs in 
that country that the traveller finds himself on a height that com- 


mauds a view of great extent, wMcli is literally covered -vvitli hourgs 
or .small towns and villages. This occurs particularly in Normandy, 
in the vicinity of Paris, and jus one approaches the Loire. In such 
places it Ls no miusnal thing for the eye to embrace, as it might be in 
a single view, some forty or fifty cold, grave-looking, chiselled lourgs 
and villages, almost invarialily erected in stone. The eft'ect is not un- 
pleasant, for the sulxlued color of the buildings has a tendency to 
soften the landscape and to render the Avhole solemn and imposing. 
We can recall many of these scenes that have left indehl)le impres- 
sions on the mind, and which, if not positively beautiful in a rural 
sense, are very remarkable. That from the heights of Montmorenci, 
near Paris, is one of them ; and there is another, from the hill of St. 
Catharine, near Eouen, that is quite as exti*aordinaiy. 

The greater natural freedom that exists in an ordinary American 
landscape, and the abundance of detached fragments of wood, often 
render the ^aews of this country strikingly beautiful when they are 
of sufficient extent to conceal the want of finish in the details, which 
require time and long-continued labor to accomplish. In this par- 
ticvdar we conceive that the older portions of the United States ofter to 
the eye a general outline of \dew that may well claim to be even of a 
higher cast, than most of the sceneiy of the old world. 

There is one great charm, however, that it must be confessed is 
nearly wanting among us. A^^c allude to the coast. Our own is, A\'ith 
scarcely an exce])tion, low, monotonous and tame. It wants Aljiine 
rocks, bold promontories, visilde heights inland, and all those other 
glorious accessories of the sort that render the coast of the Mediter- 
ranean the wonder of the world. It Ls usual for the American to 
dilate on the size of his bays and rivers, but ol)jects like these require 
corresponding elevation in the land. Admiralile as is the bay of 
New-York for tlic imrjwses of commerce, it holds but a very subor- 


dinate place as a landscape among tlie other havens of the worhl. 
The comparison with Na])les that has so often been made, is singularly 
unjust, there not being two bays of any extent to be found, that are 
really less alike than these. It was never our good fortune to see 
Constantinople or Rio de Janeii'o, the two noblest and most remarka- 
ble scenes of this kind, as we have understood, known to the traveller. 
But we much question if either will endure the test of rigid and severe 
examination better than the celebrated Gulf of Napoli. The color of 
the water, alone, is a peculiar beauty of all the Mediterranean bays : 
it is the blue of the deep sea, carried home to the very rocks of the 
coast. In this respect, the shores of America, also, have less claim to 
beauty than those of Europe, generally. The waters are green, the 
certain sign of their' l:>eiug shallow. Similar tints prevail in the narrow 
seas between Holland and England. The name of Holland recalls a 
land, however, that is even lower than any portion of our own with 
which we are acquainted. There are large districts in Holland that 
are actually below the level of the high tides of the sea. This country 
is a proof how much time, civilization, and jDersevering industry, may 
add even to the interest of a landscape. While the tameness of the 
American coast has so little to relieve it or to give it character, in 
Holland it becomes the source of wonder and admiration. The sight 
of vast meadows, villages, farm-houses, churches, and other works of 
art, actually lying below the level of the adjacent canals, and the 
neighboring seas, wakes in the mind a species of reverence for human 
industry. This feeling becomes blended with the views, and it is 
scarcely possible to gaze upon a Dutch landscape without seeing, at 
the same time, ample pages from the history of the country and the 
character of its people. On this side of the ocean, there are no 
such peculiarities. Time, numbers, and labor are yet wanting to 
supply the defects of nature, and we must be content, for a while. 


■witli tlie less teeming pictures drawn in our youtli and comparative 

On tlie American coast tlie prevailing character is less marked at 
the northward and eastward than at the southward. At some future 
day, the Everglades of Florida may have a certain resemblance to 
Holland. They are the lowest land, we beheve, in any part of this 

Taking into the account the climate and its productions, the adja- 
cent mountains, the most picturesque outlines of the lakes, and the 
works of art which embellish the whole, we think that most lovei-s of 
natural scenery would prefer that around the lakes of Como and Mag- 
giore to that of any other place familiarly knoTVTi to the traveller. 
Como is ordinarily conceived to carry off the palm in Em-ope, and it 
is not probable that the great mountains of the East or any part of 
the Andes, can assemble as many objects of grandeur, sweetness, mag- 
nificence and art, as are to be found in this region. Of course, our 
own country has nothing of the sort to comjjare with it. The Rocky 
Moimtains, and the other great ranges in the recent accession of terri- 
tory, must possess many no})le \'iews, especially as one proceeds south ; 
but the accessories are necessarily wanting, for a union of art and 
nature can alone render scenery perfect. 

In the way of the wild, the terrific, and the grand, nature is sufii- 
cient of herself ; but Niagara is scarcely more imposing than she is 
now rendered lovely by the works of man. It is true that this cele- 
brated cataract has a maiked sweetness of expression, if we may use 
such a term, that singulai'ly softens its magnificence, and now that men 
are becoming more famihar with its mysteries, and penetrating into its 
very mists, by means of a small steamboat, — the admirer of nature 
discovers a character dittei'cnt from that Avhieh first strikes the senses. 

We regard it as hypercritical to speak of the want of Alpine scenery 


ai'ound Niagara, On what scale must the mountains be moulded to 
bear a just compai'ison, in this view of tlie matter, -^^-ith the grandeur 
of the cataract ! The Al^is, the Andes, and the Himmalaya, would 
scarcely suffice to furnish materials necessary to produce the contrast, 
on any measurement now known to the world. In fact the accessories, 
except as they are Ijlended with the Falls themselves, as in the T^'on- 
deiful o-oro-e throuofh which the river rushes in an almost fathomless 
torrent, as if frightened at its own terrific leap ; the "Whirlpool, and 
all that properly belongs to the stream, from the commencement of 
the Rapids, or, to be more exact, from the placid, lake-like scenery 
above these Eapids, down to the point where the waters of this mighty 
strait are poured into the bosom of the Ontario, strike us as being in 
singular liarmon}- with the views of the Cataract itself. 

The Amei'icans may well boast of their water-falls, and of theii" 
lakes, notwithstanding the admitted suj^eriority of upper Italy and 
Switzerland in coimection with the highest classes of the latter. They 
form objects of interest over a vast surface of teriitory, and greatly 
relieve the monotony of the inland views. We do not now allude to 
the five great lakes, which resemble seas and ofter very much the same 
assemblage of objects to the eye ; but to those of greatly inferior 
extent, that are sparkling over so much of the surface of the northern 
States. The east, and New-York in particular, abound in them, though 
farther west the lover of the picturesque must be content to receive 
the prairie in their stead. It would be a great mistake, however, to 
attemjjt to comjiare any of these lakes with the finest of the old woi'ld ; 
though many of them are very lovely and all contribute to embellish 
the scenery. Lake George itseK could not occupy more than a fourth 
or fifth position in a justly graduated scale of the lakes of Christendom ; 
though certainly very charming to the eye, and of singular variety in 
its aspects. In one particular, indeed, this lake has scarcely an equal. 


We allude to its islands, wliicli are said to equal the number of tlie 
days in the year. Points, promontories, and headlands are scarcely 
ever substitutes for islands, wliicb add inexpressibly to the effect of all 

It has been a question among the admirers of natm'al sceueiy, 
whether the presence or absence of detached farm-houses, of trees, of 
hedges, walls and fences, most contribute to the effect of any inland 
\aew. As these are the great points of distinction between the conti- 
nent of Euro]3e and our own country, we shall pause a moment to 
examine the subject a little more in detail. When the towns and 
villages are sufficiently numerous to catch the attention of tlie eye, 
and there are occasional fragments of forest in sight, one does not so 
much miss the absence of that appearance of comfort and animated 
beauty that the other style of embellishment so eminently possesses. 
A great deal, however, depends, as respects these particulars, on the 
nature of the architecture and the color of the buildings and fences. 
It is only in very particular places and under very dull lights, that 
the contrast between white and green is agreeaUe. A fence that looks 
as if it were covered Avith clotlies hung out to dry, does very little 
towai'ds aiding the picturesque. And he who endeavors to improve 
his taste in these particulars, will not fail to discover in time that a 
range of country which gives uj) its oljjects, chiselled and distinct, but 
sober, and somctiiues sonil)re, will eventually take stronger liold of his 
fancy than one that is glittering with the fruits of the paint and white- 
wash brushes. AVe are never dissatisfied Avith the natural tints of 
stone, for the mind i-cadily submits to the ordering of nature; and 
though one color may be preferred to another, each and all are accept- 
a>)le in their proper places. Tlius, a marble structure is expected to 
be white, and as sucli, if the l)uilding be of suitable dimensions and 
projioi'tlons, escapes our I'liticisins, on account of its richness and uses. 


Tlie same may 1)e said of other Imes, wlien not artificial ; l)ut we tMnk 
that most admirei's of nature, as they come to cultivate tlieir tastes, 
settle down into a preference for tlie gray and subdued over all tlie 
brighter tints that art can produce. In this particular, then, we give 
the preference to the effects of European scenery, over that of this 
country, where wood is so much used for the purposes of building, 
and where the fiishion has long been to color it with white. A better 
taste, however, or what we esteem as such, is beginning to prevail, and 
houses in towns and villages are now not unfrequently even painted 
in subdued colors. We regard the effect as an improvement, though 
to our taste no hue, in its artificial objects, so embellishes a landscape 
as the solemn color of the more sober, and less meretricious looking 

"We believe that a structure of white, with green blinds, is almost 
peculiar to this country. In the most pro25itious situations, and under 
the happiest cii'cumstauces, the colors are unquestional)ly unsuited to 
architectm-e, which, like statuaiy, should have Irat one tint. If, however, 
it be deemed essential to the flaunting tastes of the mistress of some 
mansion, to cause the hues of the edifice in which she resides to be as 
gay as her toilette, we earnestly jjrotest against the bright green that 
is occasionally introduced for such purposes. There is a graver tint, of 
the same color, that entirely changes the expression of a dwelling. 
Place two of these houses in close proximity, and scarcely an intellec- 
tual being would pass them, without sapng that the owner of the one 
was much superior to the owner of the other in all that marks the 
civilized man. Put a third structure in the immediate vicinity of 
these two, that should have but one color on its surface, including its 
blinds, and we think that nine persons in ten, except the very vulgar 
and uniustructed, would at once jump to the conclusion that the owner 
of tliis habitation was in tastes and refinement superior to both his 

60 A M E K I C A N A X D E U E O T E A N S C E N E U V. 

neiglibors. A great improvement, however, in rural as well as in town 
architecture, is now in the course of introduction throughout all the 
northern States. More attention is paid to the picturesque than was 
formerly the case, and the effects are becoming as numerous as they 
are pleasmg. We should particularize New Haven, as one of those 
towns that has been thus embellished of late years, and there are 
other places, of neai'ly equal size, that might be mentioned as ha\ang 
the same claims to an improved taste. But to return to the great 
distinctive features between an ordinary American landscape and a 
similar scene in Europe. Of the artificial accessories it is scarcely 
necessary to say any more. One does not ex]iect to meet with a 
ruined castle or abbey, or even fortress, in America ; nor, on the other 
hand, does the traveller look for the forests of America, or that abun- 
dance of wood, which gives to nearly every farm a sufficiency for all 
the common wants of life, on the plains and heights of the old A^'orld. 
Wood there certainly is, and possibly enough to meet the ordinary 
wants of the different countries, but it is generally in the hands of the 
governments or the great proprietors, and takes the aspect of forests of 
greater or less size, that are well cared for, cleared and trimmed like 
the grounds of a park. 

Germany has, we think, in some respects a strong reseml>lance to 
the \'iews of America. It is not so much wanting in detached copses 
and smaller plantations of trees as the countries farther south and east 
of it, while it has less of the naked aspect in general that is so I'emark- 
able in France. Detached buildings occur more frequently in Germany 
than in France especially, and we might add also in S])ain. The 
reader will rememl)er that it is a })i'eval('nt usage throughout Europe, 
Avith the exception of the British Islands, Holland, and here and there 
a province in other countries, for the rural jjopulation to dwell in 
villages. This practice gives to the German landscajx', iu particular, a 


species of reseiublaiioe to what is ordinarily termed park scenery, 
tlioiigli it is necessarily wanting in inucli of that expression whicli 
characterizes the embellishments that properly belong to the latter. 
With us this resemblance is often even stronger, in consequence of the 
careless graces of nature and the great affluence of detached woods ; 
the distinguishing features existing in the farm-house, fences and out- 
buildings. Of a cloudy day, a distant view in America often bears 
this likeness to the park, in a very marked degree, for then the graces 
of the scene are visible to the eye, while the defects of the details are 
too remote to be detected. 

The mountain scenery of the United States, though wanting in 
grandeur, and in that wild sublimity which ordinarily belongs to a 
granite formation, is not without attractions that are singularly its 
own. The great abundance of forest, the arable qualities of the soil, 
and the peculiar blending of what may be termed the agricultural and 
the savage, unite to produce landscapes of extraordinary beauty and 
grace. Vast regions of country possessing this character are to be 
found in almost all the old States, for after quitting the coast for a 
greater or less distance, varying from one to two hundred miles, the 
ranges of the Alleghanies interpose between the monotonous districts 
of the Atlantic shores and the great plains of the west. We are of 
opinion that as civilization advances, and the husbandman has l^rought 
his lands to the highest state of cultivation, there will be a line of 
mountain scenery extending from Maine to Georgia, in a north and 
south direction, and possessing a general width of from one to two 
hundred miles, from east to west, that will scarcely have a parallel in 
any other quarter of the world, in those sylvan upland landscapes, 
which, while they are wanting in the sublimity of the Alpine regions, 
share so largely in the striking and effective. 

It is usual for the American to boast of his rivers, not only for 


their size and usefulness, Lut for tlieii* beauties. A thousand streams, 
that in ohler regions would have been rendered memorable, ages since, 
l)y the poet, the painter, ai't in every form, and the events of a teeming 
history, flow within the Hmits of the United States still unsung, and 
nearly unknown. As yet, something is ordinarily wanting, in the way 
of finish, along the banks of these inferior water-courses. But occasion- 
ally, in places where art has, as it might Tie, accidentally assisted 
nature, they come into the landscape with the most pleasing influence 
on its charms. In this respect, the peculiarity of the country is rather 
in a want of uniformity than in any want of material. To us, it would 
seem that all the northern States of America, at least, are far better 
watered than common, and that consequently they possess more of this 
species of beauty. As for the great streams, the largest, perhaps, 
have the least claims to high character in this I'espect in both the old 
and the new world. The Rhine is an exception, however, for it would 
be dithcult to find another river of equal length and with the same 
flow of water, that possesses the same diversity of character or one 
so peculiar. At its source it descends from the high glaciers of the 
Alps a number of brawling brooks, which forcing their way through 
the upper valleys, unite below in a straggling, rapid, l;)ut shallow 
stream, that finds its way into the lake of Constance, out of which it 
issues a compact, rajiid river, imposing Ijy its volume of water, I'ather 
tlian l>y its breadth, or any other advantage. Its cataracts, so celebra- 
ted in the old world, can scarcely claim to l)e the equal of the Cohoes, 
or many others of the secondary falls of this country, though the 
Rhine has always an abundance of water, whicli the Mohawk has not. 
On ([uitting Switzci'land, this remarkable stream assumes many aspects, 
and decorates, lieyond a doubt, as much landscape scenery as falls to 
tlie share of any other stream in the known world. "We do not think 
it, li<)\\i'\( r, in its best parts, e(pial to the Hudson in its wliole length. 


tliougli the cliaracters of tliese two rivers are so very difi'ereut as 
scarcely to admit of a fair comparison. PerhajDS tlie most remarkalole 
feature of tlie Eliiue is its termination, for after embelllsliiug and 
serving tlie purposes of sucli an extent of country in the very heart of 
Eui'ope, it disappears, as it might be, in a uumlier of straggling, unin- 
teresting, turbid waters, among the marshes of Holland. This is a 
veiy difl'erent exit from that which characterizes the majestic flow of 
the Hudson to the Atlantic. 

England has no great livers to boast of, though she has a few of 
singular claims to notice, on account of the great flow of the tides and 
the vast amount of commerce that they bear on their bosom. Tlie 
Thames, so renowned in history, is as uninterestuig as possible, until it 
passes above the Ijridges of London, where it becomes an ordinarily 
pretty sylvan stream. 

The Seine, another river, familiar in name, at least, to every reader, 
has much higher claims than its neighbor of the British Islands, in the 
way of natm-al beauty. This stream, from Eouen to the Channel, is 
not without some very fine scenery, as well as possessing a very vari- 
ant and interesting charactei', mth both natural and artificial accesso- 
ries, to say nothing of the historical, that di'aw largely on the atten- 

Italy has many rivers that are celebrated in song or story, but not 
one, we think, that should rank high, on the ground of landscape 
beauty. Most of her streams are so dependent on the melting of the 
snows in the Apemiiues and Alps, as to Ije either brawling torrents, or 
meagre, straggling pools. The Amo, the Po, the Adige, the Tiber, 
and all the other livers of that peninsula, are ol^noxious to these 
objections. Even the Tiber, which is navigable as high as Rome, for 
vessels of a light draft, is either a tranquil thread, or one of those 
noisy, turbid streams that overfow theii- banks, and often appear at a 
loss to know in which direction to pour their waters. 


Tlie day is not distant, wlieu America must possess a vast extent 
of territory of a character directly the reverse of that we have described 
in our mountain scenery, but which, nevertheh^ss, will not l>e without 
a certain magnificence from its extent, productions, and fertility. We 
allude to the great plains of the "West ; those which lie between the 
bases of the AUeghanies and the semi-sterile steppes that are known 
in this part of the world as the great ])rairies. Lombardy, teeming as 
she is with population, \dnes, and all the productions of a fertile soil, 
in the possession of millions, sinks into insignificance before the vast 
})lains that are destined to be her rivals in this quarter of the woi'ld. 
Perliaps New- York, ah)ne, could furnish nearly as niucli of this charac- 
ter of country as is to l)e found in Upper Italy ; for, stretching from 
the shores of Ontario towards the southern ranges of uplands, and as 
far east as Utica, is spread to the eye a vast extent of the most fertile 
plain, slightly relieved in places with a rolling surface of very respecta- 
ble claims to natural beauty. We question if greater fertility is to be 
found in any part of the world, than is met with in the region last 
mentioned, though drainage and the other woi'ks of an advanced state 
of husbandly are still much wanting to bring foi'th both its fertility 
and its beauties. 

New- York, indeed, in the way of scenery, has very high claims to 
variety, gi-acefulness, and even grandeur, among the mountains of the 
counties bordering on Champlain. By grandeur, however, let there 
be no mistake, by receiving the term in any other than a linrited sense. 
Any well delineated view of a high-class Swiss scene, must at once 
convince even the most ju'ovincial mind among us that nothing vi' tlie 
sort is to Ije found in America, east of the llocky Mountains. Never- 
theless, the Adirondack has claims to a Avild grandeur, which, if it 
do not ajipi'oach magnificence, is of a cliaracter to impi-ess a region 
witli tlic sell lit' a \crv noble nature. The lovers of the i)ietiiresi|ue 


sustain a great loss by means of the numerous lines of railroads that 
have recently come into existence. This is true of both Europe and 
America. In the course of time, it will be found that every where a 
country presents its best face towards its thoroughfares. Every thing 
that depends on art, naturally takes this aspect, for men are as likely 
to put on their best appearance along a wayside in the country as on 
the streets of a town. All that has been done, therefore, in past ages, 
in these particulars, is being deranged and in some instances deformed 
by the necessity of preserving levels, and avoiding the more valuable 
portions of a country, in order to diminish expense. Thus villages and 
towns are no longer entered l)y their finest passages, producing the 
best effects ; but the traveller is apt to find his view limited by ranges 
of sheds, out-houses, and other deformities of that nature. Here and 
there, some work of art, compelled by necessity, furnishes a relief to 
this deformity. But on the whole, the recent system of railroads has 
as yet done very little towards adding much to the picturesque for 
the benefit of the traveller. Here and there is to be found an excep- 
tion, however, to this rule ; portions of the Erie railroad, and the 
whole of the Hudson River, as well as that along the Rhine, necessa- 
I'ily possessing the advantage of sharing in the sublimity and grace 
through which they pass. Time will, of course, remedy the defects of 
the whole arrangement ; and a new front will be presented, as it may 
be, to the traveller thi'oughout the civihzed world. Whether human 
ingenuity will yet succeed in inventing substitutes for the smoke and 
other unpleasant appHances of a railroad train, remains to be seen ; 
but we think few will be disposed to differ from us, when we say that 
in our view of the matter this great improvement of modern inter- 
course has done very httle towards the embellishment of a country in 
the way of landscapes. The graceful winding curvatures of the old 
highways, the acclivities and declivities, the copses, meadows and 


woods, the lialf-liidden church, nestling among the leaves of its elms 
and pines, the neat and secluded hamlet, the farm-house, with all its 
comforts and sober arrangements, so disposed as to greet the eye of 
the passenger, will long he hopelessly looked for by him who flies 
through these scenes, which, like a picture placed in a false light, no 
longer reflects the genius and skill of the ai-tist. 

The old world enjoys an advantage as i-egards the picturef<(pie and 
pleasing, in connection with its towns, that is wholly unknown, unless 
it may be in the way of exception, among ourselves. The necessity, 
in the middle ages, of building for defence, and the want of artillery 
before the invention of gunpowder, contributed to the construction of 
military woi-ks for the protection of the towns of Europe, that still 
remain, owing to their durable materials, often producing some of the 
finest effects that the imagination could invent to embellish a picture. 
Nothing of the sort, of course, is to be met with here, for we have no 
castles, have never felt the necessity of fortified towns, and had no 
existence at the period when works of this nature came within the 
ordinary appliances of society. On the contrary, the utilitarian spu-it 
of the day labors to erase every inequality from the surface of the 
American town, substituting convenience for appearance. It is proba- 
ble there is no one who, in the end, would not give a preference to 
these new improvements for a permanent residence ; but it is not to 
be denied that so far as the landscape is concerned, the customs of the 
middle ages constructed much the most picturesque and striking col- 
lections of human habitations. Indeed, it is scai'cely possible for the 
mind to conceive of objects of this nature, that are thrown together 
with liner cH'ccts, tlian are to be met with among the mountainous 
regions, in particular, of Europe. We illustrate one or two that are 
to be met with in the Apennines, and the Alps, and even in (Jer- 
many, as proofs of what Ave say. The eye, of itself. Mill tcjich tlie 

A M V. i; I C A N AND E U R O P E A N SCENERY. 6*7 

reader, that Riclimoud aud Boston, and Washington and Baltimore, 
and half-a-dozen other American towns that do possess more or less of 
an unequal surface, must yield the palm to those gloriously beautifid 
objects of the old world. When it is remembered, too, how much 
time has multiplied these last, it can be seen that there are large dis- 
tricts in the mountain regions of the other hemisphere, that enjoy 
this superiority over us, if superiority it can be called, to possess the 
picturesque, at the expense of the convenient. The imagination can 
scarcely equal the pictures of this nature that often meet the eye in 
the southern countries of Europe. Villages, with the chiselled outlines 
of castles, gray, sombre, but distinct, are often seen, perched on the 
summits of rocky heights, or adhering, as it might be, to their sides, ia 
situations that are frequently even appalling, and which invariably 
lend a character of peculiar beauty to the view. There are parts of 
Europe in which the traveller encountei'S these ol)jects in great num- 
bers, and if an American, they never fail to attract his attention, as 
the wigwam and the bark canoe, and the prairie with lines of l^isons, 
would catch the eye of a wayfarer from the old world. To these 
humbler mountain pictures, must be added many a castle and strong- 
hold of royal, or semi-royal origin, that are met with on the summits 
of abrupt and rocky eminences farther north. Germany has many of 
these strong-holds, which ai'C kejit up to the present day and which 
are found to be useful as places of security, as they are certainly pecu- 
liar and interesting ia the landscape. 

It has often been said by scientific writers, that this country affords 
many signs of an origin more recent than the surface of Europe. The 
proofs cited are the greater depths of the ravines, wrought by the 
action of the waters following the courses of the torrents, and the 
greater and general aspect of antiquity that is impressed on natural ob- 
jects in the other hemisphere. This theory, however, has met witli a 


distiiiguislied opponent in our own time. Witliout entering at all into 
tlie merits of tULs controversy, we shall admit that to the ordinary eye 
America generally is impressed with an air of freshness, youthfulness, 
and in many instances, to use a coarse but expressive term, rawness, 
that are seldom, if ever, met with in Europe. It might perhaps be 
easy to account for this by the labors of man, alone, though we think 
that natural objects contribute their full share towards deepening the 
picture. We know of no mountain summits on this side of the Atlan- 
tic that wear the hoary hues of hundreds that are seen on the other 
side of the water ; and nearly everywhere in this country that the eye 
rests on a niountain-to]), it encounters a rounded outline of no very 
decided tints, unless, indeed, it may actually encounter verdure. To 
our eye, this character of youthfulness is very strongly perceptilde 
throughout those portions of the republic with which we are per- 
sonally acquainted, and we say this witht)ut I'cference to the recent 
settlements, which necessarily partake qf this character, but to the 
oldest and most finished of our own landscapes. The banks of the 
Hudson, for instance, have not the impress of time as strongly marked 
on their heights and headlands, and bays, and even mountains, as 
tlie banks of the Rhine ; and we have often even fancied that 
this distinguishing feature between the old and new worlds is to be 
traced on nearly every object of nature or art. Doubtless the latter 
has l)een the principal agent in pi-uducing these effects ; but it is unde- 
nial)le that they form a leading point of distinction in the general 
charactei- of the scenery of the two continents. As for England, it has 
a shorn and shaven aspect that reminds one of the husbandman in his 
Sunday's attires ; for \\e ha^'e seen that island in February, when, owing 
to tlie great quantity of its grain and the prevalent humidity of the 
atiii()s])hcre, it really appeared to us to possess more verdure than it 
dill ill the subsequent July and August. 


Tliere is one feature in European scenery, generally, more pi-eva- 
lent, however, in Catholic than in other countries, to which we must 
allude before we close. The bourg, or town, with its gray castellated 
outhnes, and possilily with walls of the middle ages, is, almost invaria- 
bly, clustered around the high, pointed roofs and solemn towers of the 
church. AVitli us, how different is the effect ! Half a dozen ill-shaped, 
and yet pretending cupolas, and other ambitious objects, half the time 
in painted wood, just peer above the viEage, while the most aspiring 
roof is almost invariably that of the tavern. It may be easy enough 
to account for this difference, and to offer a sufficient apology for its 
existence. But to the observant lover of the picturesque the effect is 
not only unpleasant but often repulsive. No one of ordinary liberality 
would wish to interfere with freedom of conscience, in order to obtain 
ftne landscapes ; but this ls one of the hundred instances in which the 
thoughtful man finds reason to regret that the church, as it exists 
among us, is not really more Cathohc. 

To conclude, we concede to Europe much the noblest scenery, in its 
Alps, Pyi'enees, and Apennines ; in its objects of art, as a matter of 
course ; in all those effects which depend on time and association, in its 
monuments, and in this impress of the past which may be said to be 
reflected in its countenance ; while we claim for America the freshness 
of a most promising youth, and a species of natural radiance that carries 
the mind with reverence to the source of all that is e;lorious around us. 

y. ,/ ,>/<;.. ^^ 



The Catskill, Katskill, or Cat Eiver Mouutaius derived tlieir name, 
in the time of the Dutch domination, from the Catamounts by 
which they were infested ; and which, with the bear, the wolf, and 
the deer, are still to be found in some of their most difficult recesses. 
The interior of these mountains is in the highest degree wild and 
romantic ; here are rocky precipices mantled with primeval forests ; 
deep gorges walled in by beetling cliffs, with torrents tumbling as it 
were from the sky ; and savage glens rarely trodden excepting by the 
hunter. With all this internal rudeness, the aspect of these mountains 
toward the Hudson at times is eminently bland and beautiful, sloping 
down into a country softened by cultivation, and bearing much of the 
rich character of Italian scenery about the sku-ts of the Apennines. 

The Catskills form an advanced post, or lateral sjiur of the great 
Alleganian or Appalachian system of mountains which sweeps through 
the inteiior of our continent, from Southwest to Northeast, from 
Alabama to the extremity of Maine, for nearly fourteen hundi-ed 
miles, belting the whole of our original confederacy, and rivalling our 


great s}'stem of lakes in extent and grandeur. Its vast ramifications 
comprise a ninnl)er of parallel chains and lateral groups ; such as the 
Cumberland Mountains, the Blue Eidge, the Alleganies, the Dela- 
ware and Lehigh, the Highlands of the Hudson, the Green Mountains 
of Vermont, and the White Mountains of 'New Hampshire. In many 
of these vast ranges or sierras, nature still reigns in indomitable wild- 
uess: theii- rocky ridges, their rugged clefts and defiles, teem with 
magnificent vegetation. Here are locked up mighty forests that have 
never been invaded by the axe ; deep umbrageous valleys where the 
virgin soil has never been outraged l)y the plough ; bright streams 
flowing in untiisked idleness, unburtheued by commerce, unchecked 
by the mill-dam. This mountain zone is in fact the great poetical 
region of our country ; resisting, hke the tribes which once inhabited 
it, the taming hand of cultivation ; and maintaining a hallowed ground 
for fancy and the muses. It is a magnificent and all-pervading feature, 
that might liave given our country a name, and a poetical one, had 
not the all-controlling jiowers of common-place determined otherwise. 
Tlie Catskill Mountains, as I have observed, maintain all the inter- 
nal A\ildness of the laliyrinth of mountains with which they are con- 
nected. Their detaclu'd position, overlooking a wide lowland region, 
\\ itli tlic majestic Hudson rolhng through it, has given them a distinct 
character, and rendered them at all times a rallying point for romance 
and fable. Much of the fanciful associations with which they have 
l)een clothed may be owing to theii" being peculiarly sidgect to those 
])eautiful atmospherical eft'ects which constitute one of the great 
charms of Hudson liiver scenery. To me they have ever been the 
fairy region of the Hudson. I speak, however, from early impres- 
sions ; made in the happy days of boyhood; wlu'n all the world liad 
a tinge of fairy land. I shall never forget my first view of these 
mountains. It was in the coui-se of a voyage up the Hudson in the 


good old times before steamboats aud railroads liad driven all poetry 
aud romance out of travel. A voyage up tlie Hudson in tbose days, 
was equal to a voyage to Europe at present, and cost almost as mucli 
time : but we enjoyed tLe river then ; we relished it as we did our wine, 
sip by sip, not, as at present, gulping all down at a draught without 
tasting it. My whole voyage up the Hudson was full of wonder and 
romance. I was a lively boy, somewhat imaginative^ of easy faith, and 
prone to relish every thing which partook of the marvellous. Among 
the passengers on board of the sloop was a veteran Indian trader, on 
his way to the lakes to traffic with the natives. He had discovered my 
l^ropensity, and amused himself throughout the voyage by telling me 
Indian legends and grotesque stories about every noted place on the 
river, such as Spuyten Devil Creek, the Tappan Sea, the Devil's Dans- 
Kammer, and other hobgoblin places. The Catskill Mountains espe- 
cially called forth a host of lanciful traditions. We were all day 
slowly tiding along in sight of them, so that he had full time to weave 
his whimsical narratives. In these mountains he told me, accordine: to 
Indian belief, was kept the great treasury of storm and sunshine, for 
the region of the Hudson. An old squaw spirit had charge of it, who 
dwelt on the highest peak of the mountain. Here she kept Day and 
Night shut up in her wigwam, letting out only one of them at a time. She 
made new moons every month, and hung them up in the sky, cutting 
up the old ones into stars. The great Manitou, or master sjiirit, employ- 
ed her to manufactui-e clouds ; sometimes she wove them out of cob- 
webs, gossamers, and morning dew, and sent them off flake after flake, 
to float in the air aud give light summei' showers — sometimes she 
would Ijrew up black thunder-storms, and send down drenching rains ; 
to swell the streams and sweep every thing away. He had many 
stories, also, about mischievous spirits who infested the mountains in 
the shape of animals, and played all kinds of pranks ui^on Indian 


Iiuntcrs, decoying tliem into quagmifes and morasses, or to tlie liriuks 
of torrents and ]»recipices." All these were doled out to me as I lay 
on tlie deck througliout a long summer's day, gazing upon tliese moun- 
tains, the ever-changing shapes and lines dt' ^\hich appeared to realize 
tlie mati'it-al intlufiu-cs in question — sometimes they seemed to ajv 
})roacli ; at others to recede; during the heat of the day they almost 
melted into a snltiy haze ; as the day declined they deepened in tone ; 
tlicir summits were 1)righteued by the last rays of the sun, and later 
in tlie evening their whole outline was printed in deep purple against 
an amber sky. As I beheld them thus shifting continually before my 
eye, and listened to the marvellous legends of the trader, a host of 
fanciful notions concerning them was conjured into my brain, which 
have haunted it ever since. 

As to the Indian superstitions concerning the treasury of storms 
and sunshine, and the iloud-weaving spirits, they may have been sug- 
gested by the atmos] (helical phenomena of these mountains, the clouds 
which gather round their summits and the thousand aerial eftects which 
indicate the changes of weather over a great extent of country. Tliey 
are epitomes of our variable climate, and are stamped with all its 
\acissitudes. And here let me say a word intavor of those ^-icissitudes 
whicli are too often made the subject of exclusive repining. If they 
annoy us occasionally 1iy changes fi'om hot to cold, from wet to dry, 
they give us one nf the most beautiful criiiiatcs in the world. They 
give us the luilliant sunshine of the south of Europe with the fresh 
verdure of the north. They float our summer sky with clouds of gor- 
geous tints or fleecy whiteness, and send down cooling showers to refresh 
the panting earth and keep it green. Our seasons are all poetical ; the 

* Some of those Indian superetitions about the Catskill Mountains have already been spoken 
of in u )iosL<cri|it to lliii Van Winkle, in the revised edition of the Sketch ]iook. 


plienoinena of our lieavens are full of sublimity and beauty. Winter Avitli 
iLs lias none of its proverlnal gloom. It may have its howling winds, and 
thrilling frosts, and whirling snow-storms ; but it has also its long inter- 
vals of cloudless sunshine, when the snow-clad earth gives redoubled 
brightness to the da}' ; when at night the stai's beam with intensest lusti'e, 
or the moon Hoods the whole landscape with her most hmj)id radiance 
— and then the joyous outbreak of our spring, bursting at once into 
leaf and blossom, redundant with vegetation, and vociferous with life ! 
— ■ and the splendors of our summer ; its morning voluptuousness and 
evening glory ; its airy palaces of sun-gilt clouds piled up in a deeji azure 
sky ; and its gusts of tempest of almost tropical grandeur, when the forked 
hghtning and the bellowing thunder volley from the battlements of 
heaven and shake the sultry atmosphere — and the sublime melancholy 
of our autumn, magnificent in its decay, withering doAvn the j^omp and 
pride of a woodland country, yet reflecting back from its yellow forests 
the golden serenity of the sky — surely we may say that in our climate 
" the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth 
forth his handy work : day unto day uttereth speech ; and night unto 
night showeth knowledge." 

A word more concerning the Catskills. It is not the Indians only 
to whom they have been a kind of wonderdand. In the early times 
of the Dutch dynasty we find them themes of golden speculation 
among even the sages of New Amsterdam. Durmg the administi'ation 
of Wilhelmus Kieft there was a meeting between the Director of the 
New Netherlands and the chiefs of the Mohawk nation to conclude a 
treaty of peace. On this occasion the Director was accompanied by 
Mynheer Adi'iaen Van der Donk, Doctor of Laws, and subsecpiently 
historian of the colony. The Indian chiefs, as usual, painted and deco- 
rated themselves on the ceremony. One of them in so doing made use 
of a pigment, the weight and shining appearance of which attracted 


the notice of Kiot't and Lis learned coini)anion, -wlio snspected it to 1)6 
ore. They procured a lump of it, and took it tack with them to New 
Amsterdam. Here it was submitted to the inspection of lohannes De la 
Montagne, an eminent Huguenot doctor of medicine, one of the counsel- 
lors of the New Netherlands. The su[)posed ore was foi'thwith jnit in a 
crucible and assayed, and to the great exultation of the jimto yielded 
two j)ieces of gold, worth about three guilders. This golden discovery 
was kept a pi'ofound secret. As soon as the treat)- of peace was adjusted 
with the Mohawks, William Kieft sent a trusty officer and a iMH-tj 
of men under guidance of an Indian, who undertook to conduct them 
to the place whence the ore had been found. We have no account of 
this golddiunting expedition, nor of its whereabouts, excepting that it 
was somewhere on the Catskill Mountains. The exploring party 
brought back a bucketful of ore. Like the former specimen it was 
suljnritted to the crucible of De la Montagne, and was equally produc- 
tive of gold. All this we have on the authority of Doctor Van der 
Donk, who was an eye-witness of the process and its result, and re- 
cords the whole in his Description of the New Netherlands. 

William Kieft now dispatched a confidential agent, one Arent Cor- 
sen, to convey a sackfid of the precious ore to Holland. Corsen em- 
barked at New Haven in a British vessel bound to England, whence 
lie was to cross to Kotterdam. The ship set sail about Christmas, 
but never reached her port. All on board perished. 

In IGil, when the redoubtable Petrus Stuyvesant took command 
of the New Netherlands, William Kieft embarked, on his return to 
Holland, provided with further specimens of the Catskill Moimtain 
ore; from which lie doubtless indulged golden anticipations. A similar' 
fate attended liiiii witli that wliich had befallen his agent. The shij) in 
which he had endjurketl was cast away, autl he and his treasure were 
swallowed in the waves. 

II.iv cloM's the -..Idcu Ic-viid ofthc Cal.-kills ; luil aiiut licr ..iic ..f 


similar import succeeds. In 1649, about two years after tlie sliip- 
wreck of AVillielmus Kieft, there was again rumor of precious metals 
in these mountains. Mpiheer Brant Arent Van Sleclitenhorst, agent 
of the Patroon of Reusselaerswyck, had purchased in Ijehalf of the 
Patroon a tract of the Catskill lands, and leased it out in farms. 
A Dutch lass in the household of one of the farmers found one day a 
glittermg substance, which, on being examined, was pi'onounced silver 
ore. Brant Van Slechtenhorst forthwith sent his son from Rensselaere- 
wyck to explore the mountains in quest of the supposed mines. The 
young man put up in the farmer's house, which had recently been 
erected on the margin of a mountain stream. Scarcely was he housed 
when a furious storm burst foi-th on the mountains. The thunders 
rolled, the lightnings flashed, the rain came down in cataracts ; the 
stream was suddenly swollen to a furious torrent thirty feet deep ; the 
farm-house and all its contents were swept away, and it was only l)y 
dint of excellent swimming that young Slechtenhorst saved his own 
life and the lives of his horses. Shortly after this a feud broke out 
between Peter Stuyvesant and the Patroon of Rensselaerswyck on 
account of the right and title to the Catskill Mountains, in the 
course of which the elder Slechtenhorst was taken captive by the 
Potentate of the New Nethei'lands and thrown in prison at New Am- 

We have met with no record of any further attempt to get at the 
treasures of the Catskills ; adventurers may have been discoui'aged by 
the ill luck which appeared to attend all who meddled with them, as 
if they were under the guardian keej) of the same spirits or goblins 
who once haunted the mountains and ruled over the weather. 

That gold and silver ore was actually procm-ed from these moun- 
tains m days of yore, we have historical e^■idence to prove, and the re- 
corded word of Adriaen Van der Donk, a man of weight, who was an 


eye-witness. If gold and silver were once to l>e found there, they must 
be there at i)resent. It remains to be seen, in these gold-hunting days, 
whether tlie quest will be renewed, and some daring adventui-er, fired 
witli a true Calif >iniaii s]>irit, will penetrate the mysteries of these 
niouiitaius and oiien a i^'ohlcn reo'ion on the borders of the Hudson. 



Autumn is the seasou for day-dreams. Wherever, at least, an 
American landscape shows its wooded heights dyed with the glory of 
Octoher, its lawns and meadows decked with colored groves, its 
broad and limpid waters reflecting the same bright hues, there the 
l)rilliant novelty of the scene, that strange beauty to which the eye 
never becomes wholly accustomed, would seem to arouse the fancy to 
unusual activity. Images, quaint and strange, rise unbidden and fill 
the mind, until we pause at length to make sure that, amid the novel 
aspect of the country, its inhabitants are still the same ; we look again 
to cou\'ince ourselves that the pillared cottages, the wooden churches, 
the brick trading-houses, the long and many- windowed taverns, are still 
what they were a month earlier. 

The softening haze of the Indian summer, so common at the same 
season, adds to the illusory character of the view. The mountains 
have grown higher ; their massive forms have acquired a new dignity 
from the airy veil which enfolds them, just as the di'apery of ancient 
marbles serves to give additional grace to the movement of a limb, or to 


mark more iiolilv the proportions oftlic form over wliic-li it is thrown. 
The fliffereut ridges, the lesser knolls, rise before us with new impor- 
tance ; the distances of the perepective are magnified ; and yet, at the 
same time, the comparative relations which the dififerent objects bear 
to each other, are revealed with a beautiful accuracy wanting in a 
clearer atmosphere, where the unaided eye is more apt to err. 

There is always somethuig of uncertainty, of caprice if you will, 
connected with our American autuuui, Avhich fixes the attention auew, 
every succeeding year, and adds to the fanciful character of the season. 
The beauty of spring is of a more assured nature ; the same tints rise 
year after year in her verdm-e, and in her blossoms, but autumn is 
what our friends in France call " mie heaute journaliere^'' variable, 
chanii'eable, not alike twice in succession, gay and brilliant yesterday, 
more languid and pale to-day. The hill-sides, the difterent groves, the 
single trees, vai'y from year to year under the combined influences of 
clouds and sunshine, the soft haze, or the clear frost ; the maple or 
oak, which last October was gorgeous crimson, may choose this season to 
wear the golek'u tint of the chestnut, or the pale yellow of duller trees ; 
the ash, which was straw-color, may become dark purple. One never 
knows ])efoi'ehand exactly what to expect ; there is always some varia- 
tion, occasionally a strange contrast. It is like awaiting the sunset of 
a brilliant day; we feel confident that the evening sky will be beauti- 
ful, but what gorgeous clouds or what pearly tints may appear to 
delight the eye, no one can foretell. 

It was a soft hazy morning, early in October. The distant hUls, 
with their rounded, dome-like heights, lising in every direction, had 
a.ssumed on the surface of their crowning woods a rich tint of l)ronze, 
as though the sw<'lling suunnits, gleaming in the suidiglit, were 
wrougiit in fivftcd ornaments of that metal. Here and there a scarlet 
maple stood in full colored beauty, amid surroumliug groves of green. 


A group of young oaks close at liand liad also felt tlie influence of tlie 
frosty autumnal dews'; their foliage, generally, was a lively green, 
worthy of June, wholly unlike decay, and yet each tree was touched 
here and there with vivid snatches of the brightest red ; the smaller 
twigs close to the trunk forming hrilliant crimson tufts, like knots of 
ribbon. One might have fancied them a baud of young knights, wear- 
ing their ladies' colors over their hearts. A pretty flowering dogwood 
close at hand, with delicate shaft and airy branches, flushed with its 
own pecuhar tint of richest lake, was perchance the lady of the grove, 
the beauty whose colors were fluttering on the breasts of the knightly 
oaks on either side. The tiny seedling maples, with their delicate 
leaflets, were also in color, in choice shades of scarlet, crimson, and 
jjink, like a new race of flowers blooming about the roots of the 
autumnal forest. 

We were sitting upon the trunk of a fallen pine, near a projecting 
cliff which overlooked the country for some fifteen miles or more ; the 
lake, the rural town, and the farms in the valley beyond, lying at our 
feet like a beautiful map. A noisy flock of blue jays were chattering 
among the oaks whose branches overshadowed our seat, and a busy 
squirrel was dropping his winter store of chestnuts from another tree 
close at hand. A gentle breeze from the south came rustling through 
the colored woods, and already there was an autumnal sound in their 
murmurs. There is a difierence in the music of the woods as the 
seasons change. In winter, when the waving limbs are bare, there is 
more of unity in the deej^ wail of the winds as they sweep through 
the forests ; in summer the rustling foliage gives some higher and 
more cheerful notes to the geuei'al harmony ; and there is also a change 
of key from the softer murmurs of the fresh foHage of early summer, 
to the sharp tones of the dry and withering leaves in October. 

There is something of a social spirit in the brilliancy of our Ame- 


rican tiutuiiui. All tlie glory of tlie colored forest would r<eeiu dis- 
played for liumau eyes to enjoy ; tliere Ls, iu its earlier stages, an aii- 
of festive gayety wliicli accords well with tlie clieerful lal)ors of the sea- 
son, and tliere is a ricliness in tlie spectacle worthy of the harvest- 
home of a fruitful laud. I should not care to pass the season in the 
wilderness which still covers large portions of the country ; either 
winter or summer should be the time for roaming in those boundless 
woods ; but with Octoljer let us return to a peopled region. A broad 
extent of forest is no doubt necessary to the magnificent spectacle, 
but there should also be broken woods, scattered groves, and isolated 
trees ; and it strikes me that the quiet fields of man, and his cheerful 
dwellings, should also have a place in the gay picture. Yes ; we felt 
convinced that an autumn view t)f the valley at our feet must he finer 
ill its present A'aried aspect, than in past ages when wholly covered 
with wood. 

The hand of man generally improves a landscape. The earth has 
been given to him, and his presence in Eden is natural ; he gives life 
and spirit to the garden. It is only when he endeavors to rise above 
his true part of laborer and husbandman, when he assumes the cha- 
racter of creator, and piles you up hills, pumps you up a I'iver, scatters 
stones, or sprinkles cascades, that he is apt to fail. Generally the 
grassy meadow in the valley, the winding road climbing the hill-side, 
the cheerful village on the Ijank of the stream, give a higher addi- 
tional interest to the view ; or where there is something amiss iu the 
sceue, it is when there is some evident want of judgment, or good 
sense, or perhaps some proof of selfish avaiice, or wastefulness, as 
when a country is stripped of its wood to fiU the pockets or feed the 
fires of one generation. 

It is true thei'c are scenes on so vast a scale, scenes so striking in 
themselves, that whatever there may be of man in view is at fii-st 


wholly ovei'looked ; we note the valley, but not his \dllages ; we sec tlie 
winding stream, but not the fisher's skill'; even in these instances, 
however, after the first vivid impressions produced T)y the grandeur of 
the spectacle, we j^lease ourselves by dwelling on the lesser features 
aA^'hile ; and after wondering on the Eighi-Kulm at the sublime array 
of hoary Alps bounding the tlistant horizon, we pause to note the 
smoke curling from the hamlet in the nearest valley, we mark the 
chalets dotting the mountain-side, or the white sail of the boat making 
its way across the lake. 

Even in those sublime scenes, where no trace of man meets the 
eye, in the cheerless monotony of the stei:)pes of central Asia, in the 
arid deserts of Africa, among the uninhabited Andes, or in the bound- 
less forests of America, it is the absence of human life which is so 
highly impressive ; and if other portions of the earth were not peopled 
with intellectual beings, mapped out by them and marked with their 
works, the contrast of those strange solitudes could not be felt by 
the heart of the wanderer. 

All the other innumerable tribes of animated Ijcings inhabiting 
this world, may crowd a country, and scarcely make an impression on 
its foce which the winds and rains of a few seasons will not wholly 
obhterate; but man, in his most savage condition, shall raise some 
fortification, or heap over the bones of his heroes some vast misshapen 
pile, which outlasts perhaps the existence of a whole race. The south- 
eastern portion of Europe is a vast level region, resembling in many 
particulars the steppes of central Asia, or the great praii-ies of om- 
own country ; until recently it lay a broad unpeoi^led waste, no part 
of which had been brought under cultivation; but in the midst of 
these grassy solitudes rise rude ancient tumuli, or barrows, whose 
origin goes back to periods anterior to history; nomadic shepherd 
tribes passed and repassed the ground for ages, but knew nothino- of 

84 A D I S S L V I N G V I E W. 

their story. Similar tumuli are numerous iu westeni Asia al^o, aiul, 
like the mounds of our own continent, they doubtless belong to a rude 
and ancient race. These old works of earth, whose great piles refuse 
to reveal the names of those who reared them, never fail to excite a 
pecuhar interest ; there is a spirit of mystery hovering over them 
beyond what is connected with monuments of any later period, even 
the proudest labors in stone ; so like the works of nature in this re- 
spect, they seem to possess for us something of the same profound 
secrecy. These lasting and remarkable tumuh, or mounds, although 
they produce no very striking effect on the aspect of a country, yet 
have an important place in the long array of works which give a pe- 
culiar character to the lauds which man has once held as his o^ti. 

The monuments of a succeeding age, raised by a more skilful peo- 
})lc, are much more pi'ominent. Indeed it would seem as if man had 
no sooner mastered the aii of architecture, than he aimed at rivalling 
the dignity and durability of the woi-ks of natui-e which served as 
his models ; he i-esolved that his walls of vast stones should stand iu 
place as long as the rocks from which they were hewn ; that his col- 
umns and his arches should live with the trees and branches from 
which they were copied ; he determined to scale the heavens with his 
proud towers of Babel. The durability of their architecture still re- 
mains to the present day one of the most remarkable characteristics 
of those ancient ages. Such is the wonder excited in the minds of 
the most skilful architects of the present day at the sight of the im- 
mense masses of stone transported and uplifted, apparently at will, by 
those ancient nations, that some have sujjposed tliem to have possessed 
mechanical powei's of their own, lost to succeeding ages, and not yet 
regained by ourselves. Certainly it would appear a well-assured fact, 
tliat the oldest works of the first great architects have been the most 
endui'ing and the most imposing of all that human art has raised. 

A i) 1 S S U L V I N (i \- 1 E \V. 85 

How uumy centuries were required to ruin Baliylon ! AVitli the pro- 
phetic curse of desolation hovering over her towers for ages, the vio- 
lence of a dozen generations was aroused against her, nation after 
nation was Ijrought to the work, ere that curse was fulfilled, and all 
her pride laid m the dust ; and still to-day her shapeless ruins break 
the surface of the level desert which surrounds them. Look at the 
ancient temples of India ; look at Eg}'pt with her wonderfid works ; 
all the proudest edifices of modern times may yet fall to the ground, 
ere those Pyramids are ruined ; they may see the last future acts of 
the earth's story, as they have stood mute witnesses of a thousand past 
histories. What were that level country of Egyjit, that muddy Nile, 
without the Pyramids and the surrounding coeval monuments ! 

Look, even later, at the works of Grecian and Roman art. Al- 
though Greece and Rome were the chosen prey of liarbarous nations 
for ages, yet not all the fury of milhons of savages could utterly de- 
stroy the monuments they raised. Study the ruined temples, and 
theatres, and tombs, the aqueducts, the bridges of those ancient na- 
tions. What architectural laliors have we which for excellence and 
beauty will compare with them ? For thousands of years they have 
stood, noble, distinctive features of the lands to which they belong. 
The little temple of the Sybil seems, to modern eyes, as much an in- 
tegral part of the surrounding hills, and the valley of Tivoli, as the 
evergreen oaks and olive trees, ay, as the stream which flings itself 
over the rocks at its feet. What were the Campagna, without its 
broken aqueducts, its ancient tombs ? What were Rome itself without 
its ruins ? The architectural remains of those old works still give to 
the seven hills, and the broad plain about them, a positive beauty, 
which their modern works, imposing as they are, cannot equal. 

It is well for us that those races of old undertook such nol)le 
labors. May we not l)elieve that there was something Providential in 


tlie feeling wliicli led tliem to erect suoli lasting monuments ? They 
built for us. Such works as the Pyi-amids, and their cotemporary 
temples, such Avorks as those of Babel, Psestum, the Coliseum, the Par- 
thenon, belong to the race; their influence is not confined to the soil 
on which they stand. As the sun of Time descends to complete its 
course, their shadows are thrown over the whole earth. 

In the middle ages, after Europe had become Christian, all the 
edifices of sufficient importance to give character to a country were 
divided in two great classes; they were the Gothic churches and 
abbeys of religion, or the fortified castles of war. It is rather singular 
that the age of the greatest extent of religious houses should also have 
been peculiarly an age of warfare ; but no doubt the very prevalence 
of this warhke spirit was a cause of the increase of monarchism. K 
the dozen hills about a valley were each crowned with a castle, and 
it' lialt' a dozen feuds between their dift'erent lords laid waste the sur- 
rounding country, it became a sort of necessity for a Chi'istian society 
that one house of peace, at least, should lie in the meadows of the 
valley, in view from the towers. The very violence of the age, imited 
to the superstitions nature of religion at the time, was thus no doubt 
a cause of the great size and riches of the churches. Louis XI. of 
France, as a general rule, committed some act of cruelty or treachery 
every morning, and then sought to buy a pardou in the evening by 
some j)ccuniary favor to church or abbey; and there were in those days 
many knights and barons bold wliose consciences were appeased by 
the same course of proceeding. 

Tlie durability of the works of the middle ages — although they 
liad lost so much of ancient civilization — is still very remarkable. 
Some of the cathedrals, the castles, and the bridges of those days are 
likely, with a few exceptions here and thei-e, to outlast modern works 
of the same natm-e ; certainly they may those now standing in 


this country. There are bridges of that period iu the wihlest parts of 
Europe, so bold in their position, spanning gorges so deep, springing 
from precipices so abrupt, that the people of later days gave them a 
magical origin, calling them " Devils' Bridges." There are feudal castles 
"with walls so massive, that the idea of razing them was abandoned 
after the orders to do so had been given. Their vast cathedrals, whose 
noble spires still rise so grandly above the roofs of the towns to wliich 
they belong, were ages in building ; some of these, nay, one may say 
many of them, required such vast sums of money, and such a long 
period of time to carry out the great designs of their architects, that 
tliey have remained unfinished to the 2:)resent hour. They not only 
built for the futui-e, iu those days, but they expected posterity to 
work with them ; and as one generation lay down in theii" graves, they 
called another generation to the pious labor. 

It is not exactly as a stranger that an American looks at these re- 
mains of feudal days, that he stands liefore the half-ruined walls of 
their castles ; in one sense we also have an interest in them. Who knows 
but ancestors of our own may have been among the squires who 
crossed that drawbridge, or among the masons who l)uilt the walls, 
or with the peasants who clustered under the protection of the banners 
of yonder ruined hold? At any rate there is no one breathing in 
Christendom whose present fate, j^erhaps laoth for good and for evil, 
has not been in some measure influenced by those days of chivali'y and 
superstitious truth, in their bearing upon civilized society at large. We 
Americans are as much the children of those European ages, as the pre- 
sent population of France or England. 

The vast extent of the regions over which these ancient monuments 
are scattered, the different series of them on the same soil — Druidical, 
Roman, Gothic, renaissance and modern — give one a clearer idea than 
figures can, of the inuumeraljle throngs of human beings which have 


preceded tlie present tenants of tlie ground, and so fully stamped the 
impression of man on the fiice of the old world. The plains, the hills, 
the valleys, the cliffs, the bare and massive mountains, the islands, the 
very caves of those regions, all Ijcar ancient human marks. The plains 
are crowned by remains of Roman roads ; the valleys and the islands 
have been the seat of old monasteries, or perhaps still older villas ; the 
hills, the clifts, the mountains, are crowned with the ruined towers of 
feudal days ; the wild gorges and the caves have been the haunts of 
Imnded robbers and outlaws, or of solitary hermits. 

The caves of the old world, more especially those of the eastern 
and southern countries, of Syria, Arabia, Egypt, Greece, Italy, have 
liad a strange story of their own. Many of them have Ijeen strong- 
holds, which have stood siege after siege, as for instance those of Pales- 
tine and Egypt. Others have been the dens of robbers, or pii-ates. 
]\Iany, cut in the face of high and apparently inaccessible cliffs, have 
been u>ed as tombs, and are more or less carved and sculptured within 
and witliout; such are frequently seen in Syria and other parts of Asia. 
In southern Italy there are many caves in the face of the elifls of the 
Apennines, whose openings are plainly seen from the highways in the 
valleys below; those were at one time, when Italy was overrun by 
bar1)arous heathen nations, the refuge of Christian hermits. Proliably 
the natural caves of those Eastern lands were the first dwellings of 
tlicir cai'liest pojiulation. Thus it is that there is not in those old 
countries a single natural featui'e of the earth upon which man has not 
set his seal, from the c^ave of Machpelah to the summit of the Alj^ine 
mountain, where the pale gray lines of the distant cross are faintly 
draw u against the sky. 

lliiw (lifVci-ciit from all this is the aspect of our own country ! It is 
tnii' fliat our tUthci-s, with amazing ra]iidity, have changed a forest 
wilderness into a civilized and populous land. But the fresh civiliza- 


tion of America is wholly dift'erent in aspect from that of the old 
world ; there is no Ijlendiug of the old and the new in this country ; 
there is nothing ohl among us. If we were endowed with ruins we 
should not preserve them ; they would l)e pulled down to make way 
for some novelty. A striking instance of this tendency will be found in 
the fact that the last Dutch house in New- York has disappeared. For a 
longtime a number of those historical way-marks existed in the older 
parts of the town, Ijut now, we understand that the last high gable, the 
last Dutch walls, have disappeared from New Amsterdam. We might 
have supposed that occupying so little space as they did, standing in 
streets Avith Dutch names, owned perhaps by men of Dutch descent, 
one, at least, of these relics of our own olden time might have been 
preserved. But no ; we are the reverse of conservators in this coun- 
try ; it M'as idle j^erhaps to expect that a single monument of the 
origin of the town w< )nld be left in place. 

We are the borderers of civilization in America, but borderers of 
the nineteenth century, when all distances are lessened, whether moral 
or physical. And then, as borderers, we also often act as pioneers ; the 
peculiar tendencies of the age are seen more clearly among us than in 
Europe. The civilization of the present is far more subtle in its cha- 
racter than that of the jiast, and its works are naturally like itself, 
highly influential, and important, Imt less dignified, and imposing in 
aspect. It woidd be comparatively an easy work to remove from the 
earth all traces of many of the peculiar merits of modern ci\dlization, 
just as the grand Palace of Glass, now standing in London, that 
brilliant and characteristic work of the day, might in a few hours be 
utterly razed. Look at our light suspension bridges, marvellous as 
they are, how soon they could be destroyed; look at our railways, 
at our ships and manufactories moved l)y steam ; look at the marvel- 
lous electric telegrajjh, at the wonders Daguerre hcos showed us — 


look ill fact, at any of tlie peculiar and most reiiiarkaT)le of the -n'orks 
of tlie ao'c, ami see liow speedily all traces of tliem could he removed. 
It will Ije said tliat tlie most im]>ortaut of all arts, tliat of printing, must 
suffice in itself to preserve all otlier discoveries : assuredly ; but remove 
the art of ])rinting, Lring fresh hordes of barbarians to sweep over the 
civilized world, let them busy themselves with the task of destruction, 
and say then what traces of our works would remain on the face of the 
earth as nioiiumeiits of our period. Perchance, as regards America, 
the chief proofs that eastern civilization had once passed, over this 
country would then be found in the mingled, vegetation, the trees, the 
])lants, ay, the very weeds of the old world. 

We are told by IMonsleur Agassiz that, as the surface of the planet 
noAv exists. North America is, in reality, the oldest jjart of the earth. 
He tells us that in many particulars our vegetation, and our animal 
life, belong to an older period than those of the eastern hemisphere ; 
he tells us of fossil hickories, and fossil gar-pikes in Europe, while 
hickories and gar-pikes are now confined to our own part of the world. 
But without doubting this theory, still there are many peculiarities 
which give to this country an air of youth beyond what is observed 
in the East. There are many parts of Europe, of Asia, of Africa, 
which have an old, worn-out, exhausted appearance ; sterile moun- 
tains, unwooded moors, barren deserts and plains. In North 
Amei;jca, on the contrary, there is little territory which can l)e called 
really sterile. As a general rule, the extent and richness of its forests 
and its wealth of waters give it naturally a cheerful aspect, while the 
more rounded forms of the hills and mountains, and their covering of 
vegetation, leave an impression of youth on the mind, comjjared with 
the abrupt, rocky jieaks, the smaller streams, and the ()])eii unwooded 
plains of eastern regions. 

The C(»nij»aratively slight and fugitive', character of American ai'clii- 


tecture, no tloubt, gives additioual force to tbis impressioii. Seltloui 
iudeed are our edifices imposing. The chief merit of our masonry and 
carpentry, esi)ecially when taken in the mass, where tlie details are 
not critically examined, is a pleasing character of cheerfulness. It is 
not the airy elegance of French or Italian art ; it is not the gayety of 
the Moorish or Arabesque ; it is yet too unformed, too undecided to 
claim a character of its own, but the general air of comfort and thrift 
which shows itself in most of our dwellings, whether on a large or a 
small scale, gives satisfaction in its way. 

Such were the thoughts which came to us as we sat on the fallen 
pine, among the October woods, overlooking the country. Before 
bending our steps homeward we amused ourselves with a sort of game 
of architectural consequences, the I'esult of the preceding fancies. I 
had gathered a sprig of wych-hazel, and, waving it over the valley, de- 
termined to make a trial of its well-established magical powers. No 
sooner had the forked branch, garnished with its ragged yellow flow- 
ers, been waved to and fro, than strange work began ! The wooden 
bridge at the entrance of the village fell into the stream and disap- 
peared ; the court-house vanished ; the seven taverns were gone ; the 
dozen stores had felt the spell ; the churches were not spared ; the 
hundred dwelling-houses shared the same fate, and vanished like the 
■ smoke from then- own chimneys. Merely razing a village was not, 
however, our ambition ; so we again had recourse to the leafless twig 
of wych-hazel. Scarcely had it passed once more over the valley, 
when we saw a forest start from the earth, the trees in full matm-ity, 
of the same variety of species, and in the same stage of autumnal 
coloring with the woods about us. But even this reappearance of a 
forest on the site of the vanished village did not satisfy the whim of 
the moment. The branch of wych-hazel was again rapidly waved to- 
wards the four quarters of the heavens, and so great was the agitation 


of tlie movement, tliat u uumber of its yellow ragged petals were bro- 
ken otf, and scattered by the wind over the country. Perhaps the 
blossoms increased the power of the spell, for in another moment we 
beheld a spectacle which wholly engrossed our attention. "We had 
been indulgiug in the wish to have a view of the valley in the condi- 
tion it would have assumed, had it lain in the track of European ci\TJ- 
ization during past ages ; how, in such a case, would it have been fash- 
ioned by the hand of man? To our amazement the wish was now 
granted. But it recpiired a second close scrutiny to convince us that 
this was indeed the site of the village which had disappeared a mo- 
ment earlier, every thing was so strangely altered. We soon con- 
vinced ourselves, however, that all the natural features of the laud- 
scape remained precisely as we had always known them ; not a curve 
in the outline of the lake was changed, not a knoll was misplaced. 
The vegetation was such as we had long been foniiliar with, and the 
coloring of the autumnal woods precisely Avhat it had l>een an hour 
earlier. But here all resemblance ceased. Many of the hills had been 
wholly shorn of wood. The position of the diHerent farms and that 
of the Ijuildiugs was entirely changed. Looking down upon the little 
town we saw it had dwindled to a mere hamlet ; low, pictui'esipie, 
thatched cottages were iri-egularly grouped along a wide grassy street, 
and about a broad green which formed the centre of the village; in 
this open grassy gi'een stood a large stone cross, beautifully designed 
and elaborately carved, doubtless a monument of some past historical 
event. One small inn, the only tavern, faced the green and the cross, 
and a large sign swung heavily before the door. The church, the 
largest building in the handet, was evidently very old, and covered a 
good deal of ground — its walls were low, of hewn stone — one large 
and rich window occujDied the eastern end, and a graceful spire rose in 
the opposite direction. Two or three small, quiet-lookuig shops rej^re- 

A D I S S O L V r N ( ; \ 1 K w. 93 

seuted tlie trade of tlie place. The bridge was of massive stone, nar- 
row, and higlily arched, while the I'uins of a tower stood close at 
hand. The fields were parted by hedges, ^\hicli lined the narrow 
roads on either side. Several country houses were seen in the neigh- 
borhood, in various grades of importance. There was a pretty thatched 
cottage, with one large bay window for front, and surrounded by a gay 
flower-garden. Then just without the village was a place of some size, 
evidently an old country house, dating perhaps some six or eight gen- 
erations back, with its brick walls, quaint chimneys, angles, cornices, 
and additions ; this place could boast its park, and deer were grazing 
on the lawn. Yonder iu the distance, upon the western shore of the 
lake, stood a castle of gray stone, its half dozen towers rising a hun- 
dred feet from the hdl-side ; there were beautiful lawns and broad 
masses of wood in this extensive domain ; the building itself was in 
good condition, and ai^jiarently inhabited. On a pretty point, pro- 
jecting into the lake about a league from the village, stood a half- 
ruined convent, now reduced to a mere farm-house. Something whis- 
pered to us that a Roman road had once passed in that direction, that 
a vdla had formerly stood on the same spot as the Priory, and that 
ancient coins were occasionally dug up there. The modern highways 
running through the valley were the most perfect that can be con- 
ceived. No less than nine difterent handets were in sight from our 
position on the clift' ; two, in addition to the village at our feet, were 
seated on the lake-shoi'e ; three more were seen clinging to the hill- 
sides, grouped about sites where feudal castles had stood in former 
times ; another appeared on the bank of the river, at a point long 
used as a ford, and two more occupied different positions in the valley. 
Pretty gray spires, or low church towers, were seen rising above most 
of these hamlets. On the farthest hill to the northward, and from 
its highest point, the I'uins of an ancient watchtower rose above the 


I could cany my observations no furtlier. The yellow flowers of 
the A^Tcli-hazel in my hand had attracted a roving bee, bent appa- 
rently on improving these last warm days, and harvesting the last 
drops of honey ; the little creature had crept close to a finger, and a 
sharp stino- soon recalled my wandering attention, and caused me to 
drop the branch and the bee together. The magic wych-hazel thro'svn 
aside, the spell was over ; the country had resumed its every-day 

'' ' l/t (••'^' 




TiiEEE is, perhaps, no State iu tlie Uniou wliicli presents a greater 
variety of landscape than Pennsylvania. Tills variety does not consist 
only in the outward configuration of her suiiace — . in the change from 
mountain to plain, from sterile grandeur to the rich monotony of a 
level alluvial region — but also in climate, atmosphere, and all those 
finer influences which are as the soul to the material forms of Nature. 
All laudscajies, whatever may be their features, have a distinct indi- 
viduahty, and express a sentiment of their own. As in Man, there is 
no reproduction of the same form or the same peculiar S2>irit, though 
in belts and broad ranges of scenery — often in entire countries — 
Nature bears some general distinguishing stainji wlierel)y the smallest 
of her pictures may be recognized. 

It would be difiicult to present any single landscape as being esjie- 
cially Pennsylvaniau. Occupying a central position among the States, 
Pennsylvania touches both belts of the temperate zone, embracing 
within her boundaries varieties of climate ranging between those of 
Canada and Virginia. From the Atlantic tide-water, she crosses the 


broad mountaiu cliaiu ^vllioll scjiarates its atHucuts from tliose whose 
union forms the Boantiful River of the West, and from her Lake Erie 
border looks over to the cohl shores of Canada. AVhile she is washed 
by ■vratei's that have been thaM^ed from ice-bound Winnipeg, for away 
towai-ds the Arctic reahu, the streams of lialf her territory find their 
wi\j to the zone of the orange and the jialm, before they I'each the 
sea. In regard to the general characteristics of her scenery, the State 
may be diN^ded into three districts : the warm agricultural region, 
lying in the south-eastern part, between the Susquehamia and the 
Delaware ; the mountain region, embracing all the ranges of the great 
Appalachian chain, many of which terminate before they reach the 
New-York frontier; and the cool, rolling ujiland ])lateau of the north- 
west, with its lakes, forests, and alnindant streams. Each of these 
I'egions has a separate character, and while no considerable part of 
the State is absolutely barren or monotonous, the toui'ist who tra- 
verses its whole extent is enchanted with the continual change and 
picturesc^ue variety of scenery through which he passes. 

The only localities which have acquired much celebrity beyond 
the borders of the State, are the Valley of the Juniata River, (a 
chai'ining glim])se of which is given in the engraving accompanying 
this sketch,) and the Yale of Wyoming, renowned through Brandt's 
IMassacre and Campbell's jDoem ; though the description of its bold and 
beautiful landscapes, as given by the transatlantic bard, is more befit- 
ting one of the I'ough /x/ /■/■(/ iicas of Mexico. The stranger who visits it 
witli tliat description in his memory, will see no scarlet flamingoes cir- 
cling tlirough the air, ikh' thorny aloes hanging from the crevices of 
the rocks, neitlier can he iinininir the melodious cadences of Outalissl's 
dcath-siMii;' "on hillocks by the palm-tree overgrown." But the moun- 
tain rampart of AVvoniing is ])lunied witli the northern fir, and the 
sweet valley, with tin; Susquehanna in its lap and Its foliage of oak, 


cliesuut, aud sycamore, could scarcely take au additional grace from 
the aloe or the palm. Yet, because tliose warm and opulent cham- 
paigns and those hills veined with iron and set on solid foundations of 
coal, which are the pride of Pennsylvania, are unsung and undescribed, 
(what part of our country has yet been justly described ?) it should 
not be presumed that the State cannot show many a valley as fair as 
the mountain-girdled repose of Wyoming, and many a gorge as freshly 
and wildly beautiful as those through which leap the sparkling waters 
of the Juniata. 

Most beautiful to our eyes, perhaps because most familiar — more 
enticing even than the fastnesses of the Alleghanies — is that delightful 
region lying between them and the Delaware. The mountains, in 
their- passage through the State, deflect gradually from their northern 
course and curve in the arc of a grand circle towards its eastern and 
north-eastern boundary. The first ridge rises about forty miles west 
of the Susquehanna, where the river crosses Mason and Dixon's line. 
Thence, running northward, it gives place to the Blue Eidge, which 
has come, mth scarcely a break, from its starting-point in the central 
group of the North Carolina mountain region. Crossing the Susque- 
hanna near Harrisburg, the Blue Ridge bends away to the north-east, 
suffering the Schuylkill and Lehigh to slip through its deep gorges, 
and finally forms the stupendous Water-Gap of the Delaware. Pro- 
tected from the chill lake-winds by this grand natural barrier and the 
still higher ridges behind it, and open to the equalizing influence of 
the near Atlantic, this is the richest and most beautiful agricultural 
district of any of the searboard States. Its climate Ls singularly genial 
and temperate, and the vegetation which covers its softly undulating 
hills has something of the rich tints and prodigal luxuriance of the 
South. The author of Evangeline sings of this region : " There the 
air is all balm and the peach is the emblem of l)eauty." 


The face of the country is diversified with au endless succession of 
round, open hills, sometunes rising steep and bold from the banks of 
the rills and rivulets that course through it, sometimes receding so as 
to form gentle valleys, or spreading into broad upland tracts, rich with 
forests and pastm-e fields. Except the Great Valley of Chester, which 
extends from the SchuylkUl to the Conestoga, a distance of forty 
miles, there are no long reaches of level land, whUe there is scarcely a 
hill will eh may not be cultivated to its summit. The highest swells 
south of the Blue Ridge do not rise more than five hundred feet 
above the sea-level. Near the mountains the winters are more cold 
and sharp, but in the southern part but little snow falls, and the 
autumn freciueutly stretches its mild reign into December. The great 
variety and beauty of the native forest-trees gives this region, in sum- 
mer, an almost tropical wealth of vegetation. The pine, the fir, the 
cedar, the hemlock-spruce and the beech come down from the North 
and clothe the 1)auks of the streams ; the oak, the walnut, the superb 
tulip-tree, the chesuut, sycamore and linden add then- warmer and 
more luxuriant fohage, and in some sheltered spots the magnolia pours 
from its snowy goblets a delicions perfume on the au'S of early summer. 
The laurel, towards the end of May, covera whole lull-sides with its 
crimped pink blossoms, and the crimson rhododendron, scarcely less 
iiiagnificent than the Cape Azalea, is frequently seen hanging over the 
flitrs t)f the Schuylkill. 

At the commencement of June, when the leaves are fully ex- 
panded and retain their first fresh and beautiful green, the warmth, 
In-ightness and richness of the landscapes of this region are the very 
embodiment of the S2)irit of Suumier. The forests are piled masses of 
gorgeous foliage, now stretching hke a rampart over the hills, now 
following some winding water-coui"se, and now broken into groves and 
clumps, dotting the undulations of the grain and grass fields. And 


tliose fields ! some rolling witli the purple waves of the ripe, juicy 
clover ; some silver-gray witL. rye, or just tinged witli yellow where 
the wheat has leaned to the sun ; or glittering with the lance-like 
leaves of the Indian corn : — surely there can be no more imposing 
exhibition of agricultural wealth, even in older and more productive 
lands. In the trim, careful beauty of England and the broad garden 
of the Rhine plain, one sees nothing of this prodigality of bloom and 
foliage — this luxury of Nature. 

Here is found almost every variety of scenery which may be had 
without mountain or praii'ie. The region is watered by several large 
streams and their tril)utaries. In addition to the Schuylkill and 
Lehigh, which take their rise on the southern slope of the mountains 
behind Wyoming, there is the Brandywine, made classic by its revolu- 
tionary memoiies and deserving of equal renown for the pastoi'al 
beauty of its course ; the Octorara, a wild and picturesque stream, 
overhung with bold hills and frequently broken by rocky barriers ; 
the Conestoga, watering the agricultural paradise of Lancaster county, 
and the Swatara, on whose banks the Suabiau emigrants might forget 
their memories of the secluded Fils. Nor are there wanting fitting as- 
sociations to give the country a deeper interest than its external 
beauty ; for nature never speaks to us with a perfect voice till she has 
received a soul from her connection with Man. The aunaLs of the Re- 
volution are now old enough to nurture a legend ; and what finer 
personages than Washington, Lafayette and Anthony Wayne on one 
side, and Howe and Knyphausen on the other ? Still further back we 
have WiUiam Penn, and that wife of his, who sat at the feet of Milton. 
And this was also the Vinland of Scandinavian Printz, when he 
brought his vessel, the Key of Calmar, to unlock the j^ortal of a new 
Swedish Empire in the West. 

But the natural affection of a son of this reo-ion and an heir of 


these memories, has led me away from the mountains, where we shall 
find a Avholly different sentiment expressed in the scenery. Never 
risino- to such a height as to give the impressions of power and sub- 
limity which we receive from grander ranges, the Alleghanies still 
possess a fresh and picturesque beauty of theii- own. They are never 
monotonous, even where, as in the southern part of the State, they 
are drawn into long parallel ridges of level outline, inclosing broad 
valleys between their bases. The uni)ruued wildness of the forests 
with which they are clothed compensates the eye for the absence of 
cht}^ and scar, and spiry pinnacle of naked rock ; while the waters of 
the Susquehaima and its tributatries, most of which break through 
them abruptly, at right angles to their course, give a constant variety 
to their landscapes. The height of the principal chains varies from 
two to three thousand feet above the sea. In the northern part the 
mountains are steep and aljrnpt, Avith sharp crests, and occasionally a 
notched and jagged outline. Sharp INIountain, near Pottsville, has 
along its summit a thin vei'tical stratum of rock, like a comb or crest, 
so narrow that one may bestride it in many places. On the other side 
of the coal-fields, however, and fronting this ridge, rises Broad Moun- 
tain, whose summit is a nearly level plain. 

Tlie principal ranges in the south have this latter conformation, 
and their summits are here and there inhabited and cultivated, though, 
at such a height al)ove the sea, the crops are necessarily scanty. The 
old stage route from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh — still travelled by 
drovei-s and their herds of Western stock for the mai'kets of the East 
— is one of the most picturesque highways in the United States. Its 
course for a hiuidri'd miles is over these mountains, crossing valleys 
from ten to twenty miles in width, and climbing the ridges by straight 
and slowly ascending lines to the pure atmosphere of the summit plain 
and the splendid landscape which it commands. Leaving the bewil- 


deriiig view behind liim, the traveller is soou whirled on to the oppo- 
site brink, where he looks down on another hazy realm of streams and 
forests, villages and embowered homesteads, bounded by another blue 
and far-stretehing rampart, where a white thread, that seems to have 
been dropped slautly along the side, marks the further course of his 
journey. But he is allowed no time to revel in the suggestions of that 
airy vision ; the horses' feet have touched the descending grade ; they 
break into a headlong gallop and hurl him downwards into the forest. 
Down, down, like wild steeds let loose on a prairie ; for the stage rolls 
by its own weight, and there can be no pause in the mad career. The 
pine spreads out its arms to catch him, l)ut he shoots past, careless of 
the dew it dashes in his face. The mountain drops into a clift' and a 
gulf yawns on one side ; the dust of his 2:)assage rolls over the brink, 
but he does not stay. And so, for miles down that interminable slope, 
till the horses are reined up, panting and smoking, on the level of the 

The upjier region of the Alleghanies, if it has no such imposing 
sweeps of landscape and cannot aiford such exciting passages of travel, 
is more broken and rugged. The regularity of the chain ceases ; the 
mountains are more involved and irregular, and many of the rivere 
are real labyrinths of scenery, perpetually unfolding in some new and 
unexpected combination. From the dome of the State House at Ilar- 
risburg the entrance to the Highlands of the Susquehanna — the gap 
where the river forces its way through the Blue Bidge, is seen in the 
distance. Thence, to all the sources of the river and those of all its 
tributaries, it never loses sight of the Alleghanies. They step across 
it as a barrier and break it into rapids ; they run by its side and try 
to shadow it into insignificance ; they stretch away and look at it from 
the horizon ; — l:)ut it is a child of theirs, and is never so wild and free 
and beautiful as when in their company. It is not to be compared 


witli any foreign river. It is infinitely more grand and inspiring tlian 
tlae Moselle or the Meuse ; it is Ijrigliter and freslier than tlie Khone, 
and tlie character of its scenery is totally different. Although the 
canal-l)oat lias invaded its i)nmitive silence, it is a picturesque iimova- 
tion, and the mountains could not call to each other in a more fitting 
voice than is given them by the boatman's bugle, pealing through the 
moniiug mists. 

In the heart of tlie Susquehanna's realm, there are many spots, the 
record of whose beauty has not yet been wafted over the tops of the 
mountains that inclose them. Everybody knows the name of Wyo- 
ming, but few — outside of Pennsylvania, at least — have heard of the 
Half-Moon Valley in Centre county, or the mountain wildernesses of 
Clinton and Clearfield ; and though the Juniata, so far as its course 
has been made the State's highway, is a beaten track, yet its upper 
waters flow through many a scene of sequestered loveliness. The pre- 
vailing characteristic of the river is its picturesque beauty, of which 
the scene chosen by Mr. Talbot in the accompanying engraving is an 
admirable exemplar. Here is nothing grand or awe-inspiiing. Tlie 
outlines of the mountain in the background, though clearly di-awu in 
the serene air, are soft, graceful and suggestive only of repose ; the 
nearer crags, though bluff and rude, are mantled with foliage, and the 
quiet curve of the transparent water, touched with the gleam of a 
pigmy sail in the distance, whispers of other nooks and more beautiful 
retreats, far away in the silent solitudes of the hills. The freshness of 
these scenes has not yet departed ; the dew of the virgin Continent is 
still moist ujion them. The antlered deer track the mazes of their 
forests and the black bear makes his winter couch in their dcejiest and 
lonehest nooks. 

Leaving this enchanting region and crossing the wild and half- 
settled tract, which extends through tlie counties of Cleai"fiekl, Elk 


aucl Forest — a cold, central table-land, twelve or fifteen liundrcd feet 
above the sea — we reach the Northern agricultural district of the 
State. In its elevation, its frequent lakes, its itinunierable streams, 
and the general character of its soil, this country resembles the Lake 
district of Central New- York. The vegetation is no longer so w^arm 
and luxuriant as on the Delaware ; the oak, hemlock and pine supplant 
the tulip-tree and the linden, and the maize no longer thrusts up such 
tall spears and shakes such lusty tassels in the breeze. But the 
region, nevertheless, has a bold, fresh, vigorous beauty of its own. 
It is inured to cold winds and keen winters, and if its landscapes 
ever look bleak, it is that bracing bleakness which exhilarates and 

Here our tour is at an end ; we pass the large, clear lakes, most 
beautiful under a cloudless autumnal sky ; we pass the farms, the trim 
villages, the pine-crested hills ; and, after lea\Tng the AUeghanies, 
three days on one of the strong-limbed horses of the country brings 
us within sight of the silver horizon-line and hearing of the silver surf 
of Lake Erie. 




TiiERE are three compulsory and unnatural residents in cities^ whom 
tlie impi'ovenieuts of tlie age are about to set at liberty. But for the 
inconveuiences of distance, Taste, Study, and Luxury, would have 
NEVER LiA'ED WILLINGLY IN STREETS. Silently aud inscusibly, how- 
ever, different parts of the country have become as accessible as diffe- 
rent parts of the town. It would be safe, perhaps, to say that eveiy 
thing that is within an hour's reach, is sufficiently at hand ; and Eng- 
lish rail-trains now travel regularly sixty miles an hour. Fifty miles 
from New- York will soon be near enough to its amusements, society 
and conveniences — at least, for the greater portion of the year ; and, 
on the day when this fact shall be recognized, New-Yorkers will be 
ready for a startling and most revolutionizing change, viz : — • liome-s in 
the country and lodgings in town^ instead of Ibomes in town and lodg- 
ings in the country. Industry, necessity, or vice, could alone prefer a 
house in a " block," among disturbances and gutters, to a home unen- 
croached upon, amid fresh air and gardens. Taste, Study, and Luxmy, 
we repeat, are about removing to the country. 


It will be observed that we anticipate a general preference, only 
for such rural life as leaves the j^l^ci^'Ufes and advantages of a city 
within reach. To be too far in the country, is, for many reasons, a 
dangerous as Avell as unpleasant removal from liberalizing and general- 
izing influences. Its effect on the mind is, perhaps, ultimately, the 
more important consideration — for it must be a very self-sufiicing and 
unassimilating character that does not narrow and grow egotistic with 
limited associations and intercourse — but its effect on the sensitive- 
ness as to mental liberty and social position, is sooner to be consider- 
ed ; for, there is no tyranny like that which is occasionally found in a 
small Aollage, and no slaveiy like the eftbrts sometimes necessary to 
preserve the good will of small neighborhoods. Country life, even 
with its best natural charms and advantages, is a doubtful experiment 
of happiness, unless your main dependence for reciprocity, society and 
amusements, is beyond the reach of local jealousies and caprices. The 
great charm of a city is the freedom between neighbors as to any 
obligation of acquaintance, and the power to pick friends and make 
visits without fear of oftending those not picked nor visited. "With 
the city not farther off than an hour or two hours of locomotion, this 
privilege can be reasonably and harmlessly asserted in the country ; 
and, with theatres, concerts, galleries of art, churches and promenades 
also within reach, the advantages of both town and country life are 
combined, while the defects of both are modified or avoided. It is 
with reference to a neio era of outer life., therefore — • science having so 
far reduced distance that toe may mix town and country life in sucJi 
proportion as pleases us — that we propose to describe a locality 
where residence, with this view, wovdd be most desirable for New- 



"West Point is Nature's Nortliern Gate to New- York City. As 
soon as our rail-trains shall equal those of England, and travel fifty or 
sixty miles an hour, the Hudson, as far as West Point, will he but a 
fifty-mile extension of Broadway. The river-banks will have become 
a suburban avenue — a long street of villas, whose busiest resident 
vnU be content that the City Hall is within an hour of his door. 
From this metropolitan avenue into the agricultural and rural region, 
the outlet will be at the city's Northern Gate, of West Point — a gate 
whose threshold divides Sea-board from In-land, and whose mountain 
pillars were heaved up with the changeless masonry of Creation. 

The passage througli the INIountam-Gate of West Point is a three- 
mile Labyrinth, whose clue-thread is the channel of the river — a 
complex wilderness, of romantic picturesqueness and beauty, which 
will yet be the teeming Switzerland of our country's Poetry and Pen- 
cil — ■ and, at the upper and northern outlet of this lal^yrinthiue portal 
of the city, there is a formation of hills which has an expression of 
most apt significance. Jt looks lihe a gesture of welcome from Nature^ 
and an invitation to look around you! From the shoulder-hke bluff 
upon the river, an outspreading range of Highlands extends back, 
like the curve of a waving arm — the single mountain of Siiawangunk, 
(connected with the range by a vaUey hke the bend of a graceful 
wrht)^ forming tJie hand at tlie extremity . It is of the area within the 
curve of this Ijeuded arm — a Highland Terrace of ten or twelve 
miles square, on the West Bank of the river — ■ that we propose to de- 
fine the capabilities, and probable destiny. 

The Highland Terrace we speak of — ten miles squai-e, and lying 
within the curve of this outstretched arm of mountains — has an ave- 
rage level of about one hundi'ed and twenty feet above the river. It 


was early settled ; aud, the rawness of first clearings lia\nug long ago 
disappeared, the well-distributed second rvoods are full grown, aud 
stand, undisfigured by stumjDS, in park-like roundness and maturity. 
The entire area of the Terrace contains sevei'al villages, aud is divided 
up into cultivated farm?, the walls and fences in good condition, the 
roads lined with trees, the orchard-* fall, the houses aud barns suffi- 
ciently hidden with foliage to be picturesque — the whole neighbor- 
hood, in fact, within any driving distance, quite rid of the angularity 
and well-known ungracefulness of a newly-settled country. 

Though the Terrace is a ten-mile plain, however, its roads are re- 
markably varied and beautiful, from the curious muUiplicity of deep 
glens. These are formed by the many streams which descend from 
the half-bowl of mountains enclosing the plain, and — -their descent 
being rapid and sudden, aud the river into which they empty being 
one or two hundred feet below the level of the country around — they 
have gradually worn beds much deeper than ordinary streams, and 
are, from this and the charactei' of the soil, unusually picturescpie. At 
every mile or so, in driving which way you will, you come to a sudden 
descent into a richly wooded vale — a 1 jright, winding brook at bot- 
tom, and romantic recesses constantly tempting to loiter. In a long 
summer, and with perpetual diiving over these ten-mile interlacings of 
wooded roads aud glens, the writer daily found new scenery, and 
heard of beautiful spots, within reach aud still unseen. From every 
little rise of the road, it must l)e remembered, the broad bosom of the 
Hudson is visible, with foreground variously combined and broken; 
and tlie lofty mountains, (encircling just about as nmch scenery as the 
eye can compass for enjoyment), form an ascending hach/round and 
a near lioriwn which ai'e hardly surpassed in the world for boldness 
and licauty. To wliat degree sunsets and sunrises, clouds, moonlight, 
and storms, are aggramlizcil and cinbcllislicil l)y tliis peculiar foi-iiia- 


tiou of couutiy, any student aud lover of nature will at once under- 
stand. Life may be, outwardly, as much, more beautiful, amid sucli 
scenery, as action amid the scenery of a stage is more dramatic than 
in an unfurnislied room. 


The acees.'^Mities from Highland Terrace are very desirable. 
West Point is perhaps a couple of miles below, by the river bank ; 
and, thougli mountain-bluffs and precipices now cut off the following 
of this line by land, a road has been surveyed and commenced along 
tlie base of Cro'nest, which, when completed, will be one of the most 
picturesque drives in the world. A part of it is to be blown out from 
the face of the rock ; and, as the lofty eminences will almost com- 
pletely overhang it, nearly the whole road will be in shade in the 
afternoon. To pass along this romantic way for an excursion to the 
superb military grounds of West Point, and to have tke parades and 
music within an easy drive, will be certainly an unusual luxury for a 
country neighl>orhood. The communication is already open for 
vehicles, by means of a steam ferry, which runs l^etween Cornwall 
Landing (at the foot of the Terrace), and Cold Sprmg and the Mili- 
tary Wharf — bringing these three beautiful spots within a few 
minutes' reach of each other — Morris the song-writer's triple-view 
site of " Undercliff," by the way, overlooking the central of tkese 
Highland-Ferry Landings. 

It may be a greater or less attraction to the locality of the Ter- 
race, but it is no disadvantage, at least, that three of the best fre- 
quented summer resorts are within an afternoon drive of any part of 
it — the West Poi^^t Hotel, Cozzens's, whick is a mile below, and 
PowELTON House, which is five or six miles above the Point, at New- 

110 THE II I G 11 L A N D T E R E A C E . 

burgh. For accessibility to these fashionable haunts of strangers and 
travellers, and the gayeties and hospitalities for which they give oppor- 
tunity — for enjoyment of military shows and music — for all manner 
of pleasure excursions by land and water, to glens and mountain-tops, 
fishing, hunting, and studying of the picturesque — Highland Terrace 
will prol )ably be a centre of attraction quite unequalled. 

The river-side length of the Terrace is about five mUes — Corn- 
wall at one end and Newburgii at the other. At both these 
places there are landings for the steamers, and from both these are 
steam-ferries to the opposite side of the river, bringing the fine neigh- 
borhoods of FisiiSKiLL and Cold Spring within easy reach. 'Nnw- 
BURGH is the metropolis of the Terrace — with its city-like markets, 
hotels, stores, trades and mechanic arts — an epitome of New- York 
convenience within the distance of an errand. Downing, one of our 
most eminent horticulturists, resides here, and Powell, one of the most 
enterprising of our men of wealth ; and, along one of the high ac- 
clivities of the Terrace, are the beautifid country seats of Durand, our 
first landscape painter ; Miller, who has presented the neighborhood 
with a costly and beautiful church of stone, Verplanck, Sands, and 
many others whose taste in grounds and improvements adds beauty 
to the river diive. 

To the class of seekers for sites of rural residence, for whom we are 
di'awing this picture, the fact that the Terrace is heyond svLurhan dis- 
tance from New- Yorh, will be one of its chief recommendations. 
What may be understood as " Cockney aimoyances" will not reach 
it. But it will still be sufliciently and variously accessible from the city. 
On its own side of the river there is a rail-route from Newburgh to 
Jersey City, whose first station is in the centre of the Terrace, at 
"Vail'sGate," and by which New-York \\\\\ eventually bt' l>rought 
within two hours or less. By the two fei'ries to the o])poslte side of 


tlie river, tlie stations of the Hudson Railroad are also accessiljle, 
bringing tlie city witliin equal time on another route. The many 
boats upon the river, touching at the two landings at all hours of day 
and night, enable you to vary the journey to and fro, with sleeping, 
reading, or tranquil enjoyment of the scenery. Friends may come to 
you with positive luxury of locomotion, and without fatigue ; and the 
monotony of access to a place of residence by any one conveyance — 
an evil very commonly complained of — is delightfully removed. 

There is a very important advantage of the Highland Terrace, 
which we have not yet named. It is the spot on the Hudson where the 
txoo greatest thoroughfares of the North are to cross each other. The 
intended route from Boston to Lake Erie, here intersects the rail-and- 
river routes between New- York and Albany. Coming hj Plainfield 
and Hartford to Fishkill, it here takes ferry to Newburgh, and tra- 
verees the Terrace by the connecting link already completed to the 
Erie Railroad — thus bringing Boston within six or eight hours of 
this portion of the river. Western and Eastern travel will then be 
direct from this spot, like Southern and Northern ; and Albany and 
New- York, Boston and Buffiilo, will be four points, all within reach 
of an easy excursion. 

To many, the most essential charm of Highland Terrace, however, 
(as a rural residence in connection with life in New- York), wiU be 
the fact that it is the nearest accessihle point of complete inland climate. 
Medical science tells us that nothing is more salutary than change from 
the seaboard to the interior, or from the interior to the seaboard ; and, 
between these two chmates, the ridge of mountains at West Point 
is the first effectual separation. 

The raw east winds of the coast, so unfavorable to some con- 
stitutions, are stopped by this wall of cloud-touching peaks, and, 
with the rapid facilities of commimication between salt and fresh aii", 


the balance can be adjusted witliout trouble or inconvenience, and as 
mucli taken of either as is found liealtbful or pleasant. The trial of 
climate which the writer has made, for a long summer, in the neigh- 
borhood of these mountainous hiding-places of electricity, the improve- 
ment of health in his own family, and the testimony of many friends 
who have made the same experiment, warrant him in commending it 
as a peculiarly salutary and invigoi'atiug air. 

We take pains to specify, once more, that it is to a certain class, 
in view of a certain new phase of the philosophy of life, that these re- 
marks are addressed. For those who must be in the city late and 
early on any and every day, the distance will he inconvenient, unless 
with unforeseen advances in the rate of locomotion. For those who 
require the night and day dissipations of New- York, and who have 
no resources of their own, a nearer residence might also be more 
desii'able. For mere seekers of seclusion and economy, it is too near 
the city, and the neighborhood would be too luxurious. But, for 
those who have their time in some degree at their own disposal — 
who have competent means or luxurious iudependence — who have 
rural tastes and metropolitan refinements rationally blended- — who 
have families which they wish to surround with the healthful and ele- 
gant belongings of a home, while, at the same time, they wish to keep 
pace with the world, and enjoy what is properly and only enjoyable 
in the stir of cities — for this class • — the class, as we said before, made 
up of Leisure, Refinement and Luxury — modern and recent changes 
are preparing a new theory of what is enjoyable in life. It is a mix- 
ture of city and country, with the home i)i the country. And the spot 
with the most advantages for the first American trial < if this new com- 
liination, is, we venture confidently to record, the HIGHLAND 


ABOVE West Point. 



AVa-wa-yan-daii Lake is situated ou the Wa-wa-yan-dali Mountains, in 
the township of Vernon, Sussex county. New Jersey, aLout three and 
a half miles fi'om the boundary between New York and New Jersey, 
and about two miles from the line between Sussex and Passaic coun- 
ties. The word " Wa-wa-yau-dah," in the Indian language, means 
" Winding Stream," so that both the lake and the mountain deriv^e 
theii' name from this ■ — the Lake and Mountain of the Winding 
Stream. The outlet of the lake after winding in various du'ectious 
empties in the Wall-kill. The lake is called by the settlers on the 
mountain, the " Double Pond," from the fact that an island nearly 
separates it into two ponds ; the water is of great depth, fed by cold 
spiings, and produces very fine trout. 

An old man, named Jeremiah Edes, who formerly lived near the 
lake, tells of an old German, who came there with a tradition handed 
down to him from his grandfather, that a vein of precious ore existed 
near a lake, which answered to the description of this one ; which ore 
he was to seek for between four trees, near the l)ank ; that he, Edes, 


assisted tlie German in liis search, wliicli after several montlis resulted 
in the discovery of some shining metal, of which the German took 
several lumps back to Germany, after carefully hiding the spot, and 
binding Edes, by a solemn oath, not to reveal the place. 

The lake is about one mile in extent, either way — it is about fif- 
teen miles from the Chester Depot of the New York and Erie Rail- 
road, and is usually visited from this place or from Greenwood Lake. 

To the above description, kindly furnished by a friend, we add an 
extract from a letter from Mr. Cropsey, the artist whose picture we 
have copied : — 

" The country ls mountainous and covered mostly by forests ; but 
the Httle ridges and valleys that he between the mountains are culti- 
vated ; farmhouses dot them here and there, amid apple orchards and 
luxuriant meadows — brooks wind through the meadows or ' linger 
with many a fall' down the wooded hill-side, snstaining here and there a 
mill, and then loosing themselves in some swamp, or spreading out in 
some placid httle lake or pond. All the country, as I passed along, was 
highly picturesque, possessing to a great extent the wild beauty of the 
Catskill and White INIountain country, combined Avitli the tame and 
cultivated Orange coimty, next which it hes. 

"Near the lake, and suppHed by its water, is an iron work 
with a pretty clearing in the woods around — with numerous neat 
little cottages for the workmen — a store — the manager's house, 
and all that kind of incident that indicates a new-made but 
flourishing place. Upon the high ground near by, and near where 
my view was taken, can be seen beyond the Sha-wau-gunk Mountains 
the Catskills, and from another position not far distant is distinctly 
seen Mount Adam and Mount Eve." 




The peculiar beauty of American mountains is rather incidental tluiu 
intrinsic ; we seldom gaze upon one witli the delight awakened Ly an 
individual charm, but usually on account of its grand effect as part of 
a vast landscape. Our scenery is on so large a scale as to yield sub- 
lime i-ather than distinct impressions ; the artist feels that it is requi- 
site to select and combine the materials afforded by nature, in order to 
produce an effective picture ; and although our country is unsurpassed 
in bold and lovely scenes, no ordinary patience and skill are needed 
to choose adequate subjects for the pencil. The outline of the moun- 
tains is almost invariably rounded ; the peaks of Alpine summits and 
the graceful linear curves of the Apennines render them far more pic- 
turesque. As we stand on the top of Mount Washington, or the Cat- 
skills, the very immensity of tlie prospect renders it too vague for the 
hmner ; it inspires the imagmation more fi-equently than it satisfies 
the eye. Indeed, general effect is the characteristic of American sce- 
nery ; the levels are diffused into apparently boundless praiiies, and 
the elevations spread in grand but monotonous undulations ; only here 


and tliere a nook or a ridge, a spur, a defile or a cliff, forms the nucleus 
for an impressive sketcli, or presents a cluster of attractive features 
limited enough in extent to be aptly transferred to canvas. " High 
mountains are a feeling ;" but here it is liable to be expansive rather < 
than intense. The Alleghanies stretch iUimitably, and, as it were, 
beckon forward tlic enthusiastic wanderer, while the Al])ii visibly soar 
and lure him upward ; amid the latter he has but to look through the 
circle of his hand to behold a picture, while the former awaken a sense 
of the undefined and limitless, and thus break up continually the per- 
ception of details. It is remarkable, hoAvever, that aljout the centre 
of the range, where it intersects the western part of North Carolina, 
the summits are peaked like the Alps, and are disposed waywardly 
like the Apennines. Here, too, the French Broad river, as it winds 
along the turnpike for the distance of forty miles, although not ua\-i- 
gable, is highly picturesque on account of its numerous rapids and the 
blufts that line its course ; and, while the autumnal frost produces no ■//"^''^ cUyt^ 
such gorgeous tints in the foliage around as make the western """oods. '^/^ ^imLjl^ 
radiant with crimson and gold, the profusion and variety of the ever-Oiv a^/'JU^-- 
greens, render the winter landscape far more atti'active. 

A similar discrepancy attaches to the moral association of moun- 
tains at home and abroad. We follow the track of invading hosts as 
we cross the Alps, and are thus haunted by memorable events in the 
history of civilization amid the most desolate heights of nature ; every 
fastness of the Apennines lias its legend of Scythian, Gaul, or Roman, 
and each base its Etrurian sepulchre. The chief moral interest belong- 
ing to the Alleghanies is that deiived from the fact that they consti- 
tute the natural boundary of the old and new settlements of the conti- 
nent. The memory of the Indian, the hunter, and especially tlie pio- 
neer, consecrate their names; and as we c()ntemj)late a view taken at 
llic |iicturesque locality l)efore alluded to, and illusti'atcd by the an- 


nexed landscape, Ave naturally revert to tlie brave and original nian--*^-'''^'^-^ 
who tlience went " over the mountains," to clear a pathway, Luild a 
lodge, and found a State in the wilderness. 

There hung, for many months, on the walls of the Art-Union gal- 
lery in New- York, a picture by Ranney, so thoroughly national in its 
subject and true to nature in its execution, that it was refreshing to 
contemplate it, after being wearied with far more ambitious yet less 
successful attempts. It rej)resented a flat ledge of rock, the summit 
of a high cliif that projected over a rich, umbrageous country, upon 
which a band of hunters leaning on their rifles, were gazing with looks 
of delighted surprise. The foremost, a compact and agile, though not 
very commanding figure, is pointing out the landscape to his comrades, 
with an air of exultant yet calm satisfaction ; the wind lifts his thick 
hail- from a brow full of energy and percei^tlon; his loose hunting 
shirt, his easy attitude, the fresh brown tint of his cheek, and an in- ^yvy,/ 

genuous, cheerful, determined yet benign expression of countenance, jy):yj,.yy^^^yf(i;jlj 
proclaim the hunter and pioneer, the Columbus of the woods, the /^f^yuL^ 0,^14^ 
forest philosopher^ and brave champion. The jjicture represents 
1 Daniel Boone discovering to his companions the fertile levels of Ken- 
tucky. This remarkable man, although he does not appear to have 
originated any great plans or borne the responsibility of an appointed 
leader in the warlike expeditious in which he was engaged, possessed 
one of those rarely balanced natures, and that unpretending efficiency 
of chai'acter which, though seldom invested with historical promi- 
nence, abound in personal interest. Without political knowledge, he 
sustained an infant settlement ; destitute of a military education, he 
proved one of the most formidable antagonists the Indians ever en- 
countered ; with no pretensions to a knowledge of ciAal engineering, 
he laid out the first road through the wilderness of Kentucky ; unfa- 
miliar Avith books, he reflected deeply and attained to philosophical 


convictions tliat yielded Mm equanimity of mind ; devoid of poetical 
expression, lie had an extraordinary feeling for natural beauty, and 
described Ms sensations and emotions, amid tlie wild seclusion of tlie 
forest, as prolific of deliglit ; witli manners entirely simple and unob- 
trusive, there was not the least rudeness in his demeanor ; and relent- 
less in fight, his disj)Osition was thoroughly humane ; his rifle and his 
cabin, with the freedom of the woods, satisfied his wants ; the sense 
of iusecm-ity in which no small portion of his life was passed, only 
rendered him circumspect ; and his trials induced a serene patience and 
fortitude ; while his love of adventm-e was a ceaseless inspiration. Such 
a man forms an admirable progenitor in that niu'sery of character — 
the AVest ; and a fine contrast to the development elsewhere induced 
by the spii-it of trade and political ambition ; like the rudely sculp- 
tm-ed calumets picked up on the plantations of Kentucky — memorials 
of a primitive race, whose mounds and copper utensils yet attest a 
people antecedent to the Indians that fled before the advancing settle- 
ments of Boone — his character indicates for the descendants of the 
hunters and pioneers, a bi'ave, independent and noble ancestry. Thus, as 
related to the diverse forms of national character in the various sections 
of the country, as well as on account of its intrinsic attractiveness, the 
western pioneer is an object of peculiar interest; and the career of 
Boone is alike distinguished for its association with romantic adventure 
and historical fact. 

A consecutive narrative however would yield but an ineffective 
jjicture of his life as it exists iii the light of symjjathetic reflection. The 
pioneer, like the mariner, alternates l)etween long uneventful periods 
and moments fraught with excitement ; the forest, like the ocean, is mo- 
notonous as well as grand ; and its tranquil beauty, for weeks together, 
may not be sublimated by terror; yet in l)oth spheres there is an 
undercurrent of suggestive life, and when the spirit of ooniliit and 


vio-Uauce sleeps, tliat of contemplation is often alive. Perhaps it is 
this very succession of " moving accidents" and lonely quiet, of solemn 
repose and intense activity, that constitutes the fascination which the 
sea and the wilderness possess for imaginative minds. They appeal 
at once to poetical and heroic instincts; and these are more fre- 
quently combined in the same individual, than we usually suppose. 
Before attempting to realize the characteristics of Boone in their unity, 
we must note the salient points in his experience ; and this is best 
done by reviving a few scenes which ty]3ify the whole drama. 

It is midnight in the forest ; and, through the interstices of its 
thickly woven branches, pale moonbeams glimmer on the emerald 
sward. The only sounds that lireak upon the brooding silence, are an 
occasional gust of wind amid the branches of the loftier trees, the hoot- 
ing of an owl, and, sometimes, the wild cry of a beast disappointed of 
his prey, or scared by the dusky figure of a savage on guard at a 
watch-fire. Besides its glowing embers, and leaning against the huge 
trunk of a gigantic hemlock, sit two gii'ls whose complexion and habili- 
ments indicate then- Anglo-Saxon origin; theii- hands are clasped 
together, and one appears to sleep as her head rests upon her com- 
panion's shoulders. They are very pale, and an expression of anxiety 
is evident in the very firmness of their resigned looks. A slight 
rustle in the thick undergrowth near their camp, causes the Indian 
sentinel to rise quickly to his feet and peer in the dii-ection of the 
sound ; a moment after he leaps up, with a piercing shout, and falls 
bleeding upon the ground, whUe the crack of a rifle echoes through the 
wood ; in an iastant twenty Indians spring from around the fii-e, raise 
the war-whoop, and brandish their tomahawks ; but three or fom- in- 
stantly drop before the deadly aim of the invaders, several run howl- 
ing with pain into the depths of the forest, and the remainder set oft' 
on an opposite ti'ail. Then calmly, but with an earnest joy, revealed 


by tlie dying flames upon his features, a robust, compactly knit figure, 
moves mtli a few liasty strides towards tlie females, gazes eagerly into 
their faces, lifts one in his arms and presses her momently to his breast, 
gives a hasty order, and his seven companions with the three in theii" 
midst, rapidly i-etrace their way over the tangled brushwood and amid 
the pillared trunks, until they come out, at dawn, upon a clearing, 
studded M'ith enormous roots, among which waves the tasselled maize, 
beside a spacious log-dwelling surrounded by a pallisade ; an eager, 
tearful group rush out to meet them ; and the weary and hungry band 
are soon discussing their midnight adventure over a substantial break- 
fast of game. Thus Boone rescued his daughter and her friend when ^^oaMi^*-^^"-^ 
they were taken captive by the Indians, Avithin sight of his primitive 
dwelling ; — an incident which illustrates more than pages of descrip- 
tion, how closely pioneer presses upon savage life, and with what peril 
civihzation encroaches upon the domain of nature. 

It is the dawn of a spring day in the wilderness ; as steals the gray 
pearly light over the densely waving tree-tops, an eagle majestically 
rises from a withered bough, and floats through the silent air, becom- 
ing a mere speck on the sky ere he disappears over the distant moun- 
tains ; dew-drops are condensed on the green threads of the pine and 
the swollen buds of the hickory ; pale bulbs and sj)ears of herbage 
shoot fi'om the black loam, amid the decayed leaves ; in the inmost re- 
cesses ftf the wood, the rabbit's tread is audible, and the chu'p of the 
squirrel ; as the sunshine expands, a thousand notes of birds at Avork 
on their nests, invade the solitude ; the bear fearlessly laps the running 
stream, and the elk turns his graceful head from the pendant lu-anch 
he is nibbling, at an unusual sound from the adjacent cane-brake ; it is 
a lonely man rising from his night slumber ; Avith his blanket on his 
arm and his rifle grasped in one hand, he approaches the brook and 
batlies his head and neck; th(>n li'lancing aniuml, turns aside the in- 


terw'ovcu tliickets uear by, ;uk1 elimhs a stony mound sliadowed by a 
fine clump of oaks, where stands an liumble but substantial cabin ; lie 
lio-hts a fire upon tlie flat stone before the entrance, kneads a cake of 
mai^e, while his venison steak is broiling, and carefully examines the 
priming of his rifle ; the meal dispatched with a hearty rehsh, he closes 
the door of his lodge, and saunters through the wilderness ; his eye 
roves from the wild flower at his feet, to the cliff that looms afar off; 
he pauses in admiration before some venerable sylvan monarch, 
watches the bounding stag his intrusion has disturbed, or cuts a little 
spray from the sassafras with the knife in his gu-dle ; as the sun rises 
higher, he penetrates deeper into the vast and beautiful forest ; each 
form of vegetable life, from the enormous fungi to the dehcate vine- 
wreath, the varied structure of the trees, the cries and motions of the 
wild animals and birds, excite in his mind a delightful sense of infinite 
power and beauty ; he feels, as he walks, in every nerve and vein the 
" glorious privilege of being independent ;" reveries that bathe his 
soul in a tranquil yet lofty pleasui-e, succeed each other; and the 
sight of some lovely \Tista induces him to lie down upon a heap of 
dead leaves and lose himself in contemplation. Weariness and hunger, 
or the deepening gloom of approaching night, at length warn him 
to retrace his steps ; on the way, he shoots a wild turkey for his 
supj)er, sits over the watch-fire, beneath the solemn firmament of 
stars, and recalls the absent and loved through the first watches of 
the night. jMonths have elapsed since he has thus lived alone in the 
wilderness, his brother having left him to seek ammunition and pro- 
vision at distant settlements. Despondency, for awhile, rendered his 
loneliness oppressive, but such is his love of nature and freedom, 
his zest for life ui the woods and a natural self-reliance, that gra- 
dually he attains a degree of happiness which De Foe's hero might ^-k-^^**- 
have envied. Nature is a benign mother, and whispers consoling 


secrets to attentive ears, and mysteriously cheers the heart of her 
pure votaries who truthfully cast themselves on her bosom. Not thus 
serenely however glides away the forest life of our pioneer. He is 
jealously watched by the Indians, upon whose hunting-grounds he is 
encroaching ; they steal iipon his retreat and make him captive, and 
in this situation a new y^hase of his character exhibits itself. The soul 
that has been in long and intimate communion with natural grandeur 
and beauty, and learned the scope and quality of its own resources, 
gains self-possession and foresight. The prophets of old did not resort 
to the desert in A'ain ; and the 1 )ravery and candor of hunters and sea- 
men is ])artly the result of the isolation and hardihood of their lives. 
Boone excelled as a sportsman ; he won the respect of his savage 
captors by his skill and foi'titude ; and more than once, without vio- 
lence, emancipated himself, revealed their bloody schemes to his coun- 
trymen, and met them on the battle-field, witli a coolness and 
celerity that awoke their intense astonishment. Again and again, he 
saw his companions fall before their tomahawks and rifles ; his 
daughter, as Ave have seen, was stolen from his \'ery door, though 
fortunately rescued ; his son fell before his eyes in a conflict with the 
Indians who opposed their emigration to Kentucky ; his brother and 
his dearest friends were victims either to their strategy or ^^olence ; 
his own immunity is to l)e accounted for by the influence he had ac- 
quired over his foes, which induced them often to spare his life — an in- 
fluence derived from the extraoi'dinary tact, patience, and facility of 
action, which his experience and character united to foster. 

Two other scenes of his career are ree[uisite to the ])icture. On 
the banks of the Missouri river, less than forty years ago, there stood ^Vf^ '*^f' ' 
a lew small rude cabins in the shape of a liollow square ; m one of i 

these, tlic now venerable figure of the gallant liuntcr is listlessly 
stretclicd uipon a couch; a slice of Inick twistcil on the laiinnd of liis 


rifle, is roasting by the fire, Avithiu reacli of his hand ; he is still alone, 
l)iit the surrounding cabins are occupied by his thriving descendants. 
The vital energies of the pioneer are gradually ebbing away, though 
his thick white locks, well-knit frame, and the light of his keen eye, 
evidence the genuineness and prolonged tenure of his life. Over- 
matched by the conditions of the land law in Kentucky, and annoyed 
by the march of civilization in the regions he had known in their 
primitive beauty, he had wandered here, far from the state he founded 
and the haunts of his manhood, to die with the same adventurous and 
independent spirit in which he had lived. He occupied some of 
the irksome hours of confinement incident to age, in polishing his own 
cherrywood coffin ; and it is said he was found dead in the woods at 
last, a few rods from his dwelling. 

On an autumn day, six years since, a hearse might have been seen 
winding up the main street of Frankfort, Kentucky, drawn by white 
horses, and garlanded with evergreens. The pall-bearers comprised 
some of the most distinguished men of the state. It was the second 
funeral of Daniel Boone. By an act of the legislature, his remains 
were removed from the banks of the Missouri to the public cemetery 
of the capitol of Kentucky, and there deposited with every cei-emonial 
of resj^ect and love. 

This oblation was in the highest degree just and appropriate, for 
the name of Boone is identified with the state he originally explored, 
and his character associates itself readily with that of her j^eople and 
scenery. No part of the country is more individual in these respects 
than Kentucky. As the word imports, it was at once the hunting and 
battle-ground of savage tribes for centuries ; and not until the midtile 
of the eighteenth century, was it well-known to Anglo-Saxon explorers. 
The elk and buftalo held undisputed possession with the Indian ; its 
dark forests served as a contested boundary between the Cherokees, 


Creeks aud Catawbaij of tlie Soutli, aud the Shawnees, Delawares aud 
"Wyandots of the North ; and to these mimical tribes it was indeed " a 
dark and bloody groimd." Unauthenticated exjjeditious thither we 
hear of before that of Boone, but with his first visit the history of the 
region becomes clear and progressive, remarkable for its rapid and 
steady progress and singular foilunes. The same year that Independ- 
ence was declai-ed, Virginia made a county of the embryo state, aud 
forts scattered at intervals over the face of the country, alone yielded 
refiige to the colonists from their barbarian invaders. In 1778, Du 
Quesne, with his Canadian and Indian army, met with a ^'igorous re- 
pulse at Boonesborough ; in 1778, occurred Roger Clark's brilliant ex- 
pedition against the English forts of Vincennes and Kaskaskias ; and 
the next year, a single blockhouse — the forlorn hope of advancing 
civilization — was erected l)y Koljert Patterson where Lexington now 
stands; soon after took place the unfortunate expedition of Col. Bow- 
man against the Indians of Chilicothe ; aud the Virginian legislatm'e 
passed the celebrated land law. This enactment neglected to pl•o^^de 
for a general survey at the exj^ense of the government ; each holder of 
a warrant located therefoi'e at pleasure, aud nuide his own sui'vey ; 
yet a si^ecial entry was required by the law in order clearly to de- 
signate boundaries ; the vagueness of many entries rendered the titles 
null ; those of Boone and men similarly unacquaiuted with legal 
writing, were, of course, destitute of any accuracy of description ; and 
hence interminable perplexity, disputes and forfeitures. The imme- 
diate consequences of the law, however, was to induce a flood of 
emigration ; and the fever of land speculation i-ose and spread to an 
unexampled height ; to obtain patents for rich lands became the ruling 
passion ; and simultaneous Indian hostilities prevailed — so that Ken- 
tucky was transformed, all at once, from an agricultural and huntiug 
region thiuly peopled, to an arena where raj)acity ami war swayed a 


vast multitude. Tlie conflicts, law-suits, border adventures, and per- 
sonal feuds growing out of this condition of affairs, would yield memo- 
rable themes, without number, for the annalist. To this e25och suc- 
ceeded " a labyiinth of conventions." The position of Kentucky was 
anomalous ; the appendage of a state unable to protect her frontier 
from savage invasion ; her future prosperity in a great measure de- 
pendent upon the glorious river that bounded her domain, and the 
United States government alre^ady proposing to yield the right of its 
navigation to a foreign powei^^^ se];)arated by the Alleghany mountains 
from the populous and cultivated East; and the tenure by which 
estates were held within its limits quite unsettled, it is scarcely to be 
wondered at, that reckless political adventurers began to look upon 
Kentucky as a promising sphere for their intrigues. Without advert- 
ing to any particular instances, or renewing the inquiry iuto the mo- 
tives of prominent actors in those scenes, it is interesting to perceive 
how entirely the intelligence and honor of the people triumphed over 
selfish ambition and cunning artifice. Foreign governments and 
domestic traitors failed in theii- schemes to alienate the isolated state 
from the growing confederacy ; repulsed as she was again and again 
in her attempts to secure constitutional freedom, she might have said 
to the parent government, with the repudiated " lady wedded to the 
Moor " — 

" Unkindness may do much, 
And youi- uukindness may achieve my Ul'e, 
But never taint my love." 

Kentucky was admitted into the Union on the fourth of Febru- 
ary, 1791. 

From this outline of her history, we can readily perceive how rich 
and varied was the material whence has sprung the Western charac- 
ter ; its highest phase is doubtless to be found in Kentucky ; and, in 


our view, best illustrates Ameiicau iu distiuctiou from European 
civilization. In the Xortli this is essentially modified by the cosmopo- 
lite influence of the seaboard, and in the South, by a climate which 
assimilates her peoi;)le with those of the same latitudes elsewhere ; but 
iu the AVest, and especially in Kentucky, we find the foundation of 
social existence laid Tty the hunters — whose love of the woods, equality 
of condition, habits of sport and agriculture, and distance from con- 
ventionalities, combine to nourish independence, strength of mind, 
candor, and a fresh and genial spirit. The ease and freedom of social 
intercourse, the al;)eyance of the passion for gain, and the scope given 
to the play of character, accordingly developed a race of noble apti- 
tudes ; and we can scarcely imagine a more appropriate figure in the 
foreground of the picture than Daniel Boone, who embodies the 
honesty, intelligence, and chi^■alric spirit of the state. With a popu- 
lation descended from the extreme sections of the land, fi-om emi- 
grants of New-England as well as Virginia and North Carolina, and 
whose immediate progenitors were chiefly agiicultural gentlemen, a 
generous and spirited character might have been prophesied of the 
natives of Kentucky ; and it is in the highest degree natural for a j^eo- 
ple thus descended and with such habits, to cling with entire loyalty 
to their parent government, and to yield, as they did, ardent though 
injudicious sym])athy to France in the hour of her revolutionary crisis. 
Impulsive and honorable, her legitimate children belong to the aris- 
tocracy of nature ; without the general intellectual I'efinement of the 
Atlantic states, they possess a far higher physical de\'elopment and 
richer social instincts ; familiar with the excessive development of the 
religious and political sentiments, in all varieties and degrees, their 
views are more lu'oad though less discriminate than those entei-tained 
ill older coinniuiiities. The Catholic from .Maivland, the Turitan from 
Connecticut, and tiit! C^liuiclniiaii of Carolina, amicably flourish to- 
li'ctlicr; and the conscrvatiN <■ and fanatic arc alike undisturbed ; the 


convent and the caraji-meetiug Ijeing, often within sight of each other, 
equally respected. 

Nature, too, has been as liberal as the social elements in endowing 
Kentucky with interestmg associations. That mysterious fifteen miles J'^jt>y,<, f^n^ 
of subterranean wonders known as the Mammoth Cave, — its wonderful tc^y^'-^ /«^ 
architecture, fossil remains, nitrous atmosphere, echoes, fish with only 
the rudiment of an optic nerve, — its chasms and cataracts- — -is one of 
the most remarkable objects in the world. The boundaries of the 
state are unequalled hi beauty ; on the east the Laurel Eidge or Cum- 
berland Mountain, and on the west the Father of Waters. In native 
trees she is peculiarly rich- — ^the glorious magnolia, the prolific sugar- 
tree, the laurel and the buckeye, the hickory and honey locust, the 
mulberry, ash, antl floAviug catalpa, attest in every village and road- 
side, the sylvan aptitudes of the soil ; while the thick buftalo grass 
and finest crown-imperial in the world, clothe it with a lovely garni- 
ture. The blue limestone formation predominates, and its grotesque 
clift's and caverns render much of the geological scenery pecuhar and 

The lover of the picturesque and characteristic, must often regi'et 
that artistic and literary genius has not adequately preserved the origi- 
nal local and social features of our own primitive communities. Facility 
of intercourse and the assimilating influence of trade are rapidly bring- 
ing the traits and tendencies of all parts of the country to a common 
level ; yet in the natives of each section in whom strong idiosyncrasies 
have kept intact the original bias of character, we find the most striking 
and suggestive diversity. According to the glimpses aftbrded us by 
tradition, letters, and a few meagre biographical data, the eai'ly settlers 
of Kentucky united to the simplicity and honesty of the New- York 
colonists, a high degree of chivalric feeling ; there was an heroic vein 
induced l;)y familiarity with danger, the necessity of mutual protection 
and the healthful excitement of the chase. The absence of any marked 


distiuctiou of Ijirth or fortune, aud the liigli estimate placed upou 
society by those who dwell on widely separated plantations, caused a 
remarkably cordial, hospitable and warm intercourse to prevail, almost 
unknown at the North and East. Family honor was cherished with 
pecuhar zeal ; and the women accustomed to equestrian exercises aud 
brought up in the freedom and isolation of nature — their sex always re- 
spected and their charms thoroughly appreciated — acquu-ed a spirited 
and cheerful development quite in contrast to the subdued, uniform tone 
of those educated in the commercial towns ; their mode of life natu- 
rally generated self-reliance and evoked a spirit of independence. 
Most articles in use were of domestic manufacture ; slavery was more 
patriarchal in its character than in the other states ; the j^ractice of 
duelling, with its inevitable miseries, had also the effect to give a cer- 
tain tone to social life rarely witnessed in agricultural districts ; and 
the Kentucky gentleman was thus early initiated into the manly 
qualities of a Nimrod and the engaging and relialjle one of a man of 
honoi" and gallantry — in its best sense. It is to circumstances like 
these that we attriljute the cliivalric spirit of the state. She was a 
somewhat wild member of the confederacy — a kind of spoiled younger 
chUd, with the faults and the virtues incident to her age and fortunes ; 
nerved by long vigils at the outposts of civilization, — the wild cat in- 
vading her first school-houses aud the Indians her scattered cornfields, 
— and receiving httle parental recognition from the central govern- 
ment, — with a ])rimitivc loyalty of heart, she repudiated the intrigues 
of Genet and Burr, aud liaptized her counties for such national patriots 
as Fultou and (iullatin. Passing through a fiery ordeal of Indian 
Avarfare, the fever of land speculation, great political A"icissitude, 
unusual legal perplexities, imperfect legislation, and subsequently 
entire financial derangement, — she has yet maintained a j)rogressive 
anil Iii(li\i(lual attitude; and seems to us, in her most legitimate 
sporimcns n\' cliaiaclcr, more satisfactorily to represent the national 


type, thau auy other state. Her culture lias not been as refined, nor 
her social sjDirit as versatile and elegant as in older communities, but a 
raciness, hardihood and genial freshness of nature have, for those very 
reasons, more completely survived ; as a region whence to transplant 
or graft, if we may apply horticultural terms to humanity, Kentucky 
is a rich garden. Nor have these distinctions ceased to be. Her 
greatest statesman, in the nobleness of his character and the extraor- 
dinary personal regard he inspires, admii'ably illusti'ates the community 
of which Boone was the characteristic pioneer ; and the volunteers of 
Kentucky, in the Indian wars, under Harrison, and more recently in 
Mexico, have continued to vindicate theii" bii'tkright of valor ; while 
one of her most accomplished daughters sends tliis year a magnificent 
bed-quilt, wrought by her own hands, to the World's Fair. 

A Penusylvanian l^y l)irth, Boone early emigrated to North Caro- 
lina. He appears to have first ^isited Kentucky in 1769. The 
bounty lauds awarded to the Virginia troops induced surveying expe- 
ditions to the Ohio river ; and when Col. Henderson, in 1775, pm-- 
chased from the Cherokees, the country south, of the Kentucky river, 
the knowledge which two yeai's exj^loration had given Boone of the 
region, and his already established reputation for firmness and adven- 
tm'e, caused him to l)e employed to survey the country, the fertility 
and picturesque charms of which, had now become celebrated. Accord- 
ingly, the pioneer having satisfactorily laid out a road through the 
wilderness, not without many fierce encounters with the Aborigines, 
chose a spot to erect his log-house, which afterwards became the 
nucleus of a colony, and the germ of a prosperous State, on the site of 
the present town of Boonsborough. While transporting his family 
thither, they were surprised l)y the Indians, and, after severe loss, so 
far discouraged in theii- ei]ter])rise as to return to the nearest settle- 
ments ; and on tlie first sun)mer of their residence in Kentucky oc- 


curred the bold abduction of the two young gii'ls, to which we have 
previously referred. In 1778, while engaged in making salt with 
thirty men, at the lower Blue Licks, Boone was captured, and while 
his companions were taken to Detroit on terms of capitulation, he was 
retained as a prisoner, though kindly treated and allowed to hunt. At 
Chillicothe he witnessed the extensive preparations of the Indians to 
join a Canadian expedition against the infant settlement ; and effecting 
his escape, succeeded in reaching home in time to warn the garrison 
and prepare for its defence. For nine days he was besieged by an 
army of five hundred Indians and whites, when the enemy abandoned 
their project in des^iair. In 1782 he was engaged in the memorable 
and disastrous battle of Blue Licks, and accompanied Gen. Clarke on 
his expedition to avenge it. In the succeeding year, peace with Eng- 
land being declared, the pioneer saw the liberty and civilization of the 
country he had known as a wilderness, only inhabited by wild beasts 
and savages, guaranteed and established. In 1779, having laid out 
the chief of his little propei'ty in land warrants, — on his way from 
Kentucky to Richmond, he was robbed of twenty thousand dollars ; 
wiser claimants, versed in the legal conditions, deprived him of his 
lands ; disappointed and im^iatient, he left the glorious domain he had 
originally exploi-ed and nobly defended, and became a voluntary sub- 
ject of the King of Spahi, by making a new forest home on the banks 
of the Missouri. An excursion he undertook, in 1816, to Fort Osage, 
a hundred miles from his lodge, evidences the unimpaired vigor of his 
declining years. 

So indifferent to gain was Boone tliat he neglected to secure a fine 
estate rather than incur the trouble of a visit to New Orleans. An 
autograph letter, still extant, proves that he was not Uhterate ; and 
Governor Dunmore of Virginia, had such entire confidence in his vigi- 
lance and integrity that he emjjloycd liim to conduct sui'veyoi's ciglit 


huudred miles tlirougli the forest to the falls of the Ohio, gave him 
command of three frontier stations and sent him to negotiate treaties 
with the Cherokees. It was a fond boast with him that the first white 
women that ever stood on the banks of the Kentucky river, were his 
wife and daughter, and that his axe cleft the first tree whose timbers 
laid the foimdation of a permanent settlement in the State ; he had 
the genuine ambition of a pioneer and the native taste for life in the 
woods embodied in the foresters of Scott and the Leatherstocking of 
Cooper. He possessed that restless impulse — the instinct of adventure 
— the poetry of action. It has been justly said that "he was seldom 
taken by surprise, never shrunk from danger, nor cowered beneath ex- 
jjosure and fatigue." So accurate were his woodland observations and 
memory, that he recognised an ash tree which he had notched twenty 
years before, to identify a locahty ; and proved the accuracy of his de- 
signation by stripping ofi^ the new bark and exjiosing the marks of his 
axe beneath. His aim was so certain, that during life, he could with 
ease bark a squirrel, that is, bring down the animal, when on the top 
of the loftiest tree, by knocking oft' the bark immediately beneath, kill- 
ing him by the concussion. 

The union of beauty and terror in the life of a pioneer, of so 
much natural courage and thoughtfulness as Boone, is one of its 
most significant features. We have followed his musing steps 
through the wide, umbrageous solitudes he loved, and marked the 
contentment he experienced in a log-hut and by a camp fire ; but 
over this attractive picture there ever impended the shadow of peril 
• — in the foi-m of a stealthy and cruel foe, the wolf, disease, and 
exjwsure to the elements. Enraged at the invasion of theii- ancient 
hunting-groimds, the Indians hovered near ; while asleep in the 
jungle, following the plough, or at his frugal meal, the pioneer was 
hable to be shot down by an unseen rifle, and surrounded Ity an 


ambiLsli ; from the ti-auc[uil pui'suits of agriculture, at an}' moment, he 
might Ibe summoned to the battle-field, to rescue a neighbor's projierty 
or defend a solitary outpost. The senses become acute, the mind vigi- 
lant, and the tone of feeling chivalric under such discipline. That life 
has a peculiar dignity, even in the midst of privation and however de- 
void of refined culture, which is entirely self-dependent both for sus- 
taiument and protection. It has, too, a singular freshness and anima- 
tion the more genial from being naturally inspired. Compare the 
spasmodic eftbrts at hilarity, the forced speech and hackneyed expres- 
sion of the fashionable drawing-room, with the candid mirth and gal- 
lant spirit born of the woodland and the chase ; — the powerful sinews 
and well-braced nerves of the pioneer with the langiiid pulse of the 
metropolitan exquisite ; — and it seems as if the fountain of youth still 
buljl )led up in some deep recess of the forest. Philosophy, too, as well 
as health, is attainal^le in the woods, as Shakespeare has illustrated in 
" As You Like It ;" and Boone by his example and habitual senti- 
ments. He said to his brother, when they had lived for months in the 
yet unex])lored wilds of Kentucky, " You see hoAV little human nature 
requii-es. It is in our own hearts rather than in the things around us, 
that we are to seek felicity. A man may be happy in any state. It 
only asks a perfect resignation to the will of Providence." It is re- 
markal)le that the two American characters which chiefly interested 
Byron, were Patrick Henry and Daniel Boone — the one for his gift 
of oratory, and the other for his philosophical content — both so 
directly springing from the resources of nature. 

There is an afiinity between man and nature which conventional 
habits keep in abeyance but do not extinguish. It is manifested in the 
prevalent taste for scenery, and the favor so readily bestowed upon its 
graphic delineation in art or literature ; but in addition to the poetic 
love of nature, as addi'essed to the sense of beauty, or tliat ardent 


curiosity to explore its laws aud plieuomeua wliich fluds expression in 
natural science, there is an instinct that leads to a keen relish of nature 
in her primeval state, and a facility in embracing the life she ofters in 
her wild and solitary haunts ; a feeling that seems to have survived 
the influences of civilization and developes, when encouraged, by the 
inevitable law of animal mstinct. It is not uncommon to meet with 
this passion for nature among those whose lives have been devoted to 
objects apparently alien to its existence ; sportsmen, pedestrians, and 
citizens of rural propensities, indicate its modified action, while it is 
more emphatically exhibited by the volunteers who join caravans to 
the Rocky Mountains, the deserts of the East and the forests of 
Central and South America, with no ostensible purpose but the 
gratification arising from intimate contact with nature in her luxu- 
riant or barren soHtudes. 

To one having but an inkling of this sympathy, with a nervous 
organization and an observant mind, there is, indeed, no restorative of 
the frame or sweet diversion to the mind like a day in the woods. 
The eft'ect of roaming a treeless plain or riding over a cultivated region 
is entirely different. There is a certain tranquillity and balm in the 
forest that heals and calms the fevered spuit and quickens the languid 
pulses of the weary and disheartened with the breath of hope. Its 
influence on the animal spirits is remarkable ; and the senses, released 
from the din and monotonous limits of streets and houses, luxuriate in 
the breadth of \Tsion and the rich variety of form, hue and odor which 
only scenes like these afford. As you walk in the shadow of lofty 
trees, the repose and awe of hearts that breathe from a sacred temple, 
graduaEy lulls the tide of care and exalts despondency into worship. 
As your eye tracks the flickering light glancing upon the herbage, it 
brightens to recognize the wild-flowers that are associated with the 
innocent enjoyments of childhood ; to note the dehcate blossom of the 


■wdld Lyacintli, see the purple asters wave in tlie breeze, aud the scarlet 
berries of the wiuter-green glow among the dead leaves, or mark the 
cii'cling flight of the startled crow and the sudden leap of the squirrel. 
You pause unconsciously to feel the springy velvet of the moss-clump, 
pluck up the bulb of the broad-leaved sanguinaria, or examine the star- 
like flower of the liverwort, and then lifting your gaze to the canopy 
beneath which you lovingly stroll, greet as old and endeared acquaint- 
ances the noble trees in their- autumn splendor, — the crimson dogwood, 
yellow hickory or scarlet maple, whose brilliant hues mingle and glow 
in the sunshine hke the stained windows of an old gothic cathedral ; 
and you feel that it is as true to fact as to poetry that " the groves 
were God's first temples." Every fern at your feet is as daintily 
carved as the frieze of a Gre'cian column ; every vista down which you 
look, wears more than Egyptian solemnity ; the withered leaves rustle 
like the sighs of penitents, and the lofty tree-tops send forth a voice 
like that of prayer. Fresh vines encumber aged trunks, solitary leaves 
quiver slowly to the earth, a twilight hue chastens the brightness 
of noon, and, all around, is the charm of a mysterious quietude and 
seclusion that induces a dreamy and reverential mood ; while health 
seems wafted from the balsamic pine and the elastic turf, aud over all 
broods the serene blue firmament. 

If such refreshment and inspii-ation are obtainable from a casual 
and temporary visit to the woods, we may imagine the effect of a length- 
ened sojourn in the primeval forest, upon a nature alive to its beauty, 
wildness and solitude ; aud when we add to these, the zest of adventure, 
the pride of discovery and that feeling of sublimity ^vliich arises from 
a consciousness of danger always impending, it is easy to I'calize in the 
experience of a pioneer at once the most romantic and pi-actical ele- 
ments of life. In our own history, rich as it is in this species of 
adventure, no individual is so attractive and proniiiiont as Daniel 


Boone. The singular uuion iu his character of beuevoleuce and hardi- 
hood, bold activity and a meditative disposition, the hazardous enter- 
prises and narrow escapes recorded of him, and the resolute tact he 
displayed in all emergencies, are materials quite adequate to a thrilling 
narrative ; hut when we add to the external phases of interest, that 
absolute passion for forest life which distinguished him, and the identity 
of his name with the early fortunes of the West, he seems to combine 
the essential features of a genuine historical and thoroughly individual 



Conspicuous among the lovely places of New England is the elm- 
shaded city of New Haven. It is a city by vii-tue of its population 
and municipal regulations ; but its rui-al appearance, — neat, unpre- 
tending homes, with theii* pleasant court-yards and tasteful gardens, 
open squares and streets overarched with trees, make one hesitate to 
give it a name associated with glare, and dust, and noise. The waters 
of Long Island Sound flow softly to its feet, and in the haven thus 
formed the mariuer finds shelter from outside storms. 

The town is situated on a plain which opens northward into a 
beautiful valley, whose guarding hill-sides terminate in two rocky 
heights. When seen from the harbor below, these eminences seem 
near the city, and look like the sides of some huge portal thrown open 
in welcome to the traveller. They are known as East and West 

It is one of these prominent and most picturesque objects, which the 
artist has chosen for his beautiful picture. How truthful are its outlines 
when comj)ared with the scene iu memory, daguerreotyped there in those 


summer days when the student goes to tlie woods with his books, — • 
when the angler hes idle by the brook, — and the j)oet dreams to a 
tuneful measure as he gazes on the outline of hills, or watches the 
clouds which rest over them. There is the bold, red rock, a columned 
wall, — seamed and scarred, and piled up half its height with fragments 
of stone. There gleams a village spire above the trees ; there are the 
river and meadow shadowed by summer clouds, and there the hay- 
makers gather their fragrant harvest. 

But West Eock has another interest. The artist here gives us not 
only a beautiful and well-known scene, but illustrates a passage in 
colonial history. That rugged pile recalls a story of trial and forti- 
tude, courage and magnanimity, the noblest friendship, and a fear- 
less adherence to political principles from rehgious motives. 

Thei-e were troubled days in England. The king had been false 
to his people, and had been adjudged the death of a traitor. Then 
folloM-ed the brief rule of Cromwell, his death, and the restoration of 
the monarchy. The enthronement of Charles II. was the signal of 
flight to those who acted as judges on the trial of his father. 

Two of these men, Edward Whalley and "William Goffe, arrived at 
Boston the 21th. of July, 1660, in the very ship which brought the 
first tidings of the Bestoration. Thej;- were particularly obnoxious to 
the new govei-nment from theii- relationship to Cromwell, theu' political 
influence in the late Commonwealth, the rank they had held in the 
armies of the Parliament, and the possession of eminent talents whose 
exercise might again endanger the monarchy. 

For a time they were safe in Massachusetts, and it was hoped 
they might be forgotten in the mother country and suffered to live in 
peace in these remote regions. But when, some months later, an act 
of indemnity arrived, and these men were specially excluded iVom tlic 
general ])ardoii, it became evident that royal vengeance would not 

WEST liOCK. 139 

overlook them. Still no attempt was made to arrest tlaem until 
February, 1661, wlieu a warrant to that effect arrived from England. 
Anticipating this, they had left for Connecticut a few days before, and 
the friendly officers of justice in Massachusetts were careful to look for 
them in another direction. 

Ali-eady had the good Davenport, minister of the New Haven 
colony, prepared his people to receive them, teaching them to " Be 
not forgetful to entertain strangers ;" to " Remember those in bonds as 
bound with them," and citing for their direction such passages as 
" Make thy shadow as the night ia the midst of the noonday ; hide 
the outcasts ; bewray not him that wandereth. Let mine outcasts 
dwell with thee, Moab ; be thou a covert to them from the face of 
the spoiler." Thus taught, and the peoj^le of that colony were atten- 
tive to such instructions, they were ready to give the fugitives efficient 
protection. Royalist officers pm-sued them, but the "noonday was 
night" around them. They had been seen at the house of Mr. Daven- 
port and elsewhere in town, but search was always made for them in 
the wrong place. 

At last, when no house could longer give them protection and 
then- friends were endangered by theii- presence. West Rock furnished 
them a refuge. On its summit there are large masses of stone 
irregularly thi'own together, so that the apertures between furnish a 
recess or small cave, in which the wanderers hid themselves. Trees 
and bushes grew thick around, concealing the entrance. They were 
not forgotten in this retreat. Every day, and often both morning and 
evening, a messenger ascended the height to carry them food, and 
they were informed of all that passed below. There they were com- 
paratively safe; luit it was told them that their tried friend, ]\Ii-. 
Davenport, Vas exposed to danger on their account, and though the 
certainty of a painftil, humiliating death was before them, they de- 

140 WEST K O C K . 

sceuded to tlie town with tlie intention of surrendering them- 
selves to the royal officers. They prefei'red any suffering to the tran- 
sient peril of theii" fiiend. This danger was less alarming than they 
supposed, and they were persuaded to return to their cave. 

A^Tiat weaiy days and nights passed over them in that solitude ! 
Those restless souls, nurtured to battle and the strife of political par- 
ties, so lately j)rominent in the terrible struggle at home, were here 
condemned to inaction, to the slow wearing out of life in loneliness 
and dread. They could look off upon the waters, but seldom came a 
vessel up that bay ; and when at rare intervals a white sail gleamed 
there, it only seemed to mock their impatience to know the tidings it 
brought, — too often saddest news for them. 

They could watch every approach to the mountain, and friends 
occasionally visited them there. Stories were long told of mysterious 
appearances on that height, — forms as of human beiugs seen in mist, 
hovering over the edge of the precipice ; tales which have since 
resolved themselves into the morning or evening stroll on which the 
lonely outcasts ventiu'ed. The messenger who generally carried them 
food, was ignorant for whom it was intended. There was a strange 
mystery in his errand, and he executed it with fear, thinking of appa- 
ritions the villagers had seen there. The emptied cloth or basket was 
always in its place, but no human being was visible. 

But the Cave on "West llock had its own dangers. A security 
fi'om pursuing men, there was no safety from the tenants of the forest. 
Wild beasts were around the fugitives. Roused at night by their 
howling or cries, and waked to see their glaring eyeballs fixed upon 
them, they were forced to desert their mountain refuge, and again 
found a shelter among men. 

Years passed on. Search for them was rehnquished at intervals 
only to be renewed with greater zeal ; but concealed in an inland \i\- 



lage of Massachusetts * not all tlie officers of the crown could trace 
them out. There they died, but their place of burial was kept secret, 
lest their ashes should be dishonored. Later developments seem to 
prove their removal to New Haven, and the stranger standing on 
West Rock is shown the church in whose shadow they are believed 
to lie bm-ied. 

The panther no longer screams up that rocky height, and the 
woods are cut away, but the " Judge's Cave" remains. High on its 
front some hand has recorded the political creed of the men who 
there suffered exile and persecution : " Opposition to tyrants is obe- 
dience to God." There may it remam, the epitaph of the " Regicides" 
as the Rock is their memorial ! 

* Hadley. 


(See Title-page.) 


With the rapid progress and wider development of the great loco- 
motive triumplis of the age, steam travel and steam navigation, the 
vulgar lament over their introduction is beginning to disappear. Sen- 
timental tourists who once complained that every nook where the 
poetry of the Past still lives — every hermitage of old and sacred 
associations — would soon be invaded by these merciless embodiments 
of the Present and the Practical, are now quite content to take their 
aid, wherever it may be had, Ijetween Ceylon and the North Cape. 
The shriek of the steam whistle is hardly as musical as the song of 
the sirens, and a cushioned car is not so romantic as a gondola, yet 
they pass Calypso's isle with the sound of one ringing in their ears, 
and ride into Venice over the bridged Lagunes in the other. The 
fact is, it was only the innovation which alarmed. Once adoj^ted, its 
mu-acles of speed, comfort, and safety, soon silenced the repiuings of 
those who depend on outward circumstances and scenes to give those 
blossoms of thought and sensation, which, without these, their minds 
are too barren to pi-oduce. "We now more frequently hear of the 


power and poetic mystery of the steam-engine. We are called upon 
to watcli those enormous iron arms and listen to the thick thi'obbings 
of that unconscious heart, exerting the strength of the Titans and the 
Analdm to beat down the opposing waves and bear us forward in the 
teeth of the terrible winds. We have been told, till the likeness has 
grown commonj^lace, of the horse that, snorting fii-e and smoke from 
his nostrils, and his neck " clothed with thunder," skims over the plain 
and pierces the mountain's heart, outrunning the swift clouds and 
leaving the storm in his rear. We shall learn, ere long, that no great 
gift of science ever diminishes our stores of purer and more spiritual 
enjoyment, but rather adds to their abimdauce and gives them a 
richer zest. Let the changes that must come, come : and be sure they 
will bring us more than they take away. 

No similar work in the world could contribute more to make the 
Eailroad popular with the class referred to, than the New- York and 
Erie Raili-oad. This is by far the most striking enterprise of the kind 
which has yet been completed. Exceeding in length any single road 
in the world, the nature of the country through which it passes, the 
difficulties to be overcome in its construction, and the intiinsic charac- 
ter of the work itself, invest it with an interest and grandeur which 
few mechanical enterprises of ancient or modern times possess. Its 
course represents, on a small scale, the crossing of a continent. It 
belts four dividing lidges of mountains, separating five difterent sys- 
tems of rivers and streams. From the level of tide-water at New- 
Yoi-k, it lises to a height of 1,3GG feet on crossing the main ridge of 
the AUeghanies, and yet throughout its whole extent of four hundred 
and fifty miles, there is neither an inclined plane nor a tunnel. The 
first direct line of communication between the Atlantic and the great 
Lakes of the North, it h.-us brought them ■\\itliiu the compass of a 
suiiiiiicr's day. The traveller who sees daybreak gliiiiiiicr over the 


waters of New- York Bay, may watcli the last tints of the sunset sink 
beliind tlie horizon of Lake Erie. 

The history of the Erie Railroad, is like that of all great under- 
takings. It began with a ftiilure ; it ended with a triumph. The first 
chai'ter for its construction was granted in 1832, fixing the stock at 
ten millions of dollars, but for several years little was done except to 
survey the route. It was originally proposed to construct the road on 
pUes instead of solid embankments, and the ruins of many miles of 
such skeleton-work still stretch along the valley of the Canisteo. The 
difiiculties which beset the enterprise during the first decade of its 
existence, were innumerable, and would have discouraged less coura- 
geous and less enthusiastic men than its projectors. The natural 
obstacles to be overcome required an enormous outlay ; the consent of 
Pennsylvania was to be obtained to the building of those parts of the 
road which lay within her borders ; owners of capital hesitated to 
invest it in an uncertain scheme ; and to crown all, came the commer- 
cial revulsions of 183Y, which for a time prostrated it wholly. After 
the country had recovered from this shock, another effort was made. 
The State came to its relief, and after a season of toil and anxiety the 
work was recommenced and kept alive till the prospect of success 
brought all the wealth to its aid which had hitherto been held back. 
Ten years more, and the President of the United States and his Cabi- 
net, with the highest dignitaries of the City and State, were whii'led 
from station to station, from the Ocean to the Lakes, amid the thunder 
of cannon, the peal of bells, and the shouts of an inauguration grander 
even in its outward aspects than the triumphal processions of old 
Rome. The cost of this stupendous work was more than twenty 
millions of dollars. 

What distinguishes the Erie Road above aU other railroads is its 
apparent disregard of natural difficulties. It disdains to l)orrow an 


underground passage tlu-ougli the heart of an opposing mountain, but 
climbs the steeps, looks over the tops of the pines, and occasionally 
touches the skii-t of a stray cloud. It descends with equal facility, 
with a slope in some places startlingly perceptible, throws its bridges 
across rivers, its viaducts over valleys, and somethnes runs along the 
biiak of a giddy precipice, with a fearless secm-ity which very much 
heightens the satisfaction of the traveller. Let us put the airy car of 
om' memory on its track, and we shall run over the whole Hne before 
one of its locomotives could pant out fifty of its asthmatic breathings. 
From Piermont, on the Hudson, the road stretches out an arm, a 
mile in length, into the Tappan Bay, and receives us from the boat. 
Behind the village there is a notch in the arc of hUls embracing the 
bay, and through it we pass into the old fields of Kockland, with theii" 
old walk and old, red, Dutch farmhouses. A few miles — and the 
long, sweeping outline of Ramapo Mountain rises before us ; the beau- 
tiful Ramapo Valley lies below, and the little village, with its foun- 
dries and forges, nearly two centmies old, stands in the mouth of the 
only pass whereby the mountain is pierced m all its extent — the 
Clove of Ramapo. Through this pass, of eight mUes in length, winds 
a rivulet, now spreading into a tiny mountain lake, now fretting over 
the rocks, and leaping hither and thither in a chain of liidced cascades. 
The road follows the rivulet into the grazing farms of Goshen — rich, 
upland meadoAvs, dotted with trees and breathing of the cream and 
milk and butter that load a daily train to the meti'opolis. This region 
is passed and again the mountains appear, the Catskills blue in the 
north, but the rugged Shawangunk lying across our path. Up, up we 
go, fifty feet to the mile, and are soon high on the side, looking over 
its forests into the deep basin of the NeAosing, which pours its waters 
into the Delaware. Port Jervis, a station on the line, seems at our 
feet ; it is five hundred feet below us, but sliding down ten miks in 
almost sf) many minutes, we are there. 



The road now crosses the Delaware into Peuusylvauia, aud for a 
distance of seventy or eighty miles follows the bank of the river 
throuo-h wild and rngged scenery. For several miles the track has 
been laid, with immense labor and cost, on the top of a precipice 
nearly one hmidi-ed feet in height and falling sheer to the river. Much 
of the country is the primitive wilderness, which has never yet been 
reclaimed. Finally, at Deposit, not far from the source of the Dela- 
ware, the road turns westward and crosses the Alleghanies to the val- 
ley of the Susquehanna. Between the two rivers there is also a com- 
plete wilderness, uninhabited except by the workmen belonging to the 
road. Notwithstanding a summit cut of 200 feet deep, which cost 
$200,000, the ascending and descending grades are very heavy, and 
some of the most remarkable portions of the work are to be found at 
this point. After striking the Susquehanna, our journey lies for nearly 
one hundred and fifty mUes in the rich and picturesque valleys of that 
river and its tributaries, the Tioga and the Canisteo, passing through 
the flourishing towns of Binghamtou, Owego, Elmira, and Corning. 
Overlooking the superb meadows and rolling grain-fields, the Allegha- 
nies or spurs of them are always in sight, and on either side we have 
a rapidly unrolling panorama of such rural beauty as would have be- 
wildered old Cuyp and Eysdael. Another dividing ridge, less steep 
and rugged than the previous, and we descend through virgin forests, 
some of which are swept away by fire to make room for the settler, to 
the Alleghany River. Hence, to Lake Erie, our course is mainly 
through a wUd aud uncultivated region, or seeming so, after the boun- 
tiful valleys we have left. We cross the Indian Reservation ; catch a 
glimpse of some aboriginal idlers in wampum and moccason ; again 
climb a range of hilLs, several hundred feet in height, from whose sides 
we overlook valleys and levels of wild woodland, and at last reach a 
curve, where, beyond the far sweep of the dark forest, we see the 


edge of the aky crossed by a liiie of ileepei' lilue and kuow that we 
behold Lake Erie. Is uot all this euuiigh for a suiuiners day? 

The bold design of this road involved the necessity of a number 
of gi'and and costly works. The track itself, in the Pass of Ramapo, 
and along the Upper Delawai'e, frequently cost upwards of $100,000 
per mile. The Starucca Viaduct, an immense structure of hewn stone, 
crossing the valley at Lansingburg, is the finest work of the kind in 
this country. It is 1,200 feet long, consisting of 18 arches 114 feet in 
height, and was erected at a cost of $300,000. Next to this, in point 
of importance, and more remarkable in its chai-acter, is the bridge 
over Cascade Eaviue, which is crossed in the descent fi'om the summit 
ridge of the Alleghanies to the Susquehanna. The mountain is here 
interrupted by a deep gorge or chasm, through the bottom of which 
a small stream tumbles in its foamy course. Across this gulf, 184 feet 
in depth, a single arch of 280 feet span has been tkroAvn, its abut- 
ments resting on the solid crags. This daring arch, which, to the 
spectator below, seems hung in mid-air, was eighteen months in build- 
ing, and cost $70,000. A little to the north the gorge opens into the 
Valley of the Susquehanna, disclosing through its rugged jaws the 
most beautiful landscape seen on the road. 

It was the good fortune of the writer to be one of the guests in 
the first train which passed over the Cascade Eaviue Bridge. At the 
close of December, 1848, the line was opened from Port Jervis to 
Binghamton, a distance of one hundred and twenty-five miles. The 
incidents of that first journey by steam through the wilderness, in the 
depth of winter, will not soon be forgotten by those who took part in 
it. The Shawangunk Mountains were topped with snow as we passed 
them, and on taking the new track, beyond Port Jervis, the flakes 
began to fall thick and fast. The Delaware ran at the foot of the 
wild bluils choked with masses of ice, and each of its many windings 


dbsclosed a more drear and wintry prospect. The liemlocks bent 
under tlieii- white load ; the river ran cold and dark ; the frozen cas- 
cades hung from the rocks, like masses of transparent spar. For many 
a mile there was no sign of liuman habitation — notliiug but the 
grand and desolate solitude of the mountains. And yet — wonder 
beyond tlie tales of Sclielierazade ! — our superb train carried a lieart 
of luxury into that savage realm. We sped along, swiftly as tlie bii'd 
flies, in a warm and richly furnisked chamber, lounging on soft seats, 
half arm-chaii- and half couch, apparently as disconnected fi'om the 
landscape as a loose leaf blown over it by the winds. In that plea- 
sant climate of our own we keard tke keen aii- wkistle witkout, and 
tke ligkt patter of tke snow against tke windows, witk a sense of com- 
fort rendered doubly paljjable by tke contrast. 

At tke little villages on tke route, triumpkal arckes of fir and 
kemlock bougks were built for us, upon wkick autlered bucks, brougkt 
m by tke kunters, stood straigkt and stiff. Every town wkick could 
boast a cannon, gave a kearty salute, and as tke early nightfall came 
on, bonfires were ligkted on tke kills. It was after dark wken we left 
Deposit, and tke snow was a foot deep on tke track, but witk two 
locomotives plowing tkrougk tke di'ifts, we toiled slowly to tke sum- 
mit. After we kad passed tke deep cut and kad entered on tke de- 
scending grade, it was found tkat in consequence of tke snow ka\dng 
melted around tke rails and afterwards frozen again, tke breaks at- 
tacked to tke cars would not act. Tke wkeels slipped over tke icy 
sm-face, and in spite of tke amount of snow tkat kad fallen, we skot 
down tke mountain at tke rate of forty miles an kour. Tke ligkt of 
our lamps skowed us tke wkite banks on eitker kand; tke gkostly 
trees above and tke storm tkat drove over all: beyond tkis, all was 
darkness. Some anxiety was felt as we aj)proacked tke Bridge over 
Cascade Ravine ; tke time was not auspicious for tkis first test of its 


solidity. Every eye peered into the gloom, watcliing for the ci'itical 
spot, as we dashed onwards. At last, in the twinkling of an eye, the 
mountain-sides above and below us dro})pcd out of sight, and left us 
looking out on the void air. The lamps enabled us to see for an in- 
stant, through the falliug snow-flakes, the sharp tops of pines fai- 
below. For a second or two we hung above them, suspended over 
the terrible gulf, and then every one drew a deej) breath as we touched 
the sohd rock which forms the abutment of the arch. But om- com'se 
was not checked tiU we reached the Suscjuehanna Valley, where we 
sped on past bonfii'es blazing redly over the snow, till the boom of 
minute-guns and the screams of our strong-lunged locomotives startled 
the inhabitants of Binghamton at midnight. 

On our return, the following day, we reached the Cascade Ravine 
in the afternoon, and a halt was made to enable us to view the bridge 
from below. Scrambling through the snow, down the slippery de- 
clivities, we at last reached the bottom of the gorge and looked up at 
the wonderful arch, which spanned it as lightly as a rainbow. Firm- 
set on its base of eternal granite, it gave not the slightest quiver when 
oui" train j)assed over. Although made of perishable materials, it Avill 
last as long as they hold together, for its mountain abutments cannot 
be shaken. Seen from below, the impression it makes upon the eye 
is most complete and satisfactory, combining the extreme of hghtness 
and grace witli strength and inflexible solidity. A few yards fm-ther 
up the mountain, the cloven chasm, over which the gnarled pines hang 
theu' sombre boughs, widens to a rocky basin, into which falls a cas- 
cade seventy feet in height, Avheuce the ravine takes its name. The 
accompanying engra^^ng, from the ^^ew taken by JNIr. Tall)ot, though 
it may appear exaggerated to one wlio has never beheld the reality, 
conveys no more than a just idea of the bold and striking character 
of this work. 



The Clmrcli of the Holy luuoceuts is situated on tlie west Lank of 
tlie Hudson, in tlie very lieai't of tlie Highlands, and about a mile 
south of the Military Academy at West Point. 

It was built in the years '46 and '47, and consecrated in July of 
the latter year by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Delancey. 

Rumor has so highly colored the history of its origin, as to enlist 
in its behalf a degree of interest which may not be materially lessened 
by a simple statement of the truth. 

MTiile two or three persons at West Point were contemplating a 
place for the erection of a Church, somewhere near the spot on which 
the one in question now stands, for the benefit of the neighboring 
population, and as a centre of missionary operations in the surround- 
ing country, embracing a large section of the Highlands, one of their 
number — Prof. R. W. Weir — moved by an afilictive dispensation of 
God's providence, in the death of a child, made an ofiering, of that 
child's portion, to God, as the beginning of a fund for the buildiug of 
a Church to be called " The Church of the Holy Innocents^ He sub- 
sequently added to this sum other offerings of his own, and of a few 

152 CHURCH OF the holy innocents. 

otlier pei-sous at West Point and elsewhere, wlio felt an interest in the 
undertaking. The simple, Lut chaste and beautiful sanctuary, erected 
to " the honor and glory of God," is the fruit of these oiferings. 

The plan of the Church, both in its outline and details, was fur- 
nished by Mr. Weir, who also superintended its erection. The stone 
of which it Ls built was taken from the land on which the Church 
stands, and which was the gift of Mr. W. B. Cozzens. 

The Church is somewhat in the early English style of architec- 
ture ; cruciform in plan, the nave being about GO feet by 28 (on the 
outside), and each of the transepts lOi feet by 19. There is an admi- 
rably well proportioned Tower at the north-east corner, 48 feet in 
height, and Hi feet square at the base. One of the most beautiful 
external features of the sacred edifice, is the low south porcli^ which is 
its principal entrance. Over the door of this porch there is a tablet 
with the simple inscription, " To the honor and glory of God." Sm-- 
mounting the east end of the nave, and also the porch, are two flori- 
ated crosses. 

In the position of the Church the ride of orientation has been 
observed, the chancel pointing towards the east, and the altar being 
in the eastern end. 

On entering the porch the eye is at once arrested by a text of 
Holy Scripture written over the inner door : " O ! come let us wor- 
ship and fall down and kneel before the Lord our Maker." On enter- 
ing the Church itself, the eye is again met every where with texts of 
Holy Scripture. Over every door, on every window, over the altar, 
over the font, on the walls, and in each of the windows, texts chosen 
with peculiar aptness convey their sacred teachings to the devout wor- 
sliipper:^ — e. g.^ over the altar are the words, "As often as ye eat this 
bread and diink this cup, ye show the Lord's dcatli until lie conic ;" 
over the font, "Exce])t a man be born of water and tlic S|)irit. lie 


cannot enter tlie kingdom of God ;" over the door by wliich the Priest 
enters the Church to engage in his holy functions, " As my Father 
hath sent me, even so send I you ;" over the windows the texts are all 
words of Thai-se. 

In the south transept, at the entrance of the Church, stands the 
Bai^tismal Font, one of the most beautiful in this country, octagon 
shaped, with sacred symbols carved on the sides. It is of the granite 
of the Highlands, 3i feet m height, and the bowl 74 feet in circumfer- 
ence. The windows, deeply splayed on the inside, are of stained 
glass ; in the centre of each is a plain white cross, on the tran verse 
beam of which is a passage of Holy Scripture chosen from the divine 
sayings of our Lord. 

The seats are plain, open benches, and free to all worshippers. The 
wamscoting and walls are of a grave and sober color. The chancel 
occupies at present the head of the cross, bat this, it is hoped, wiU be 
only a temporary arrangement. 

The whole interior^ marked by unity of design, by perfect sira- 
phcity, and by a quiet solemnity, cannot fail to shed its hallowing, 
subduing influence over the soul of every worshipper who enters there, 
in sincerity and truth, to worship Almighty God ; while the exterior of 
the sacred temple, with its gray, unhewn walls, its very irregular out- 
line, its simple rural aspect, harmonizes most strikingly with the rough, 
wild mountain scenery in the midst of which it seems to have sprung 
up, itself a work of nature. And its tower, pointing heavenward, its 
cruciform outline, its cross-crowned peak, tell unmistakably its holy cha- 
racter, and serve to remmd all who enter or behold it, lx)th of tlie 
end and of the faith to which God is calling them.* 

* For the preceding notice we are indebted to the Rev. W. B. Gibson, the Rector of 
the Church. 





The landscape of Gignoux, engraved for tliis volume, representing a 
■winter scene, belongs to a class of subjects wliicli lie always treats 
well. With him winter is always a season of splendor. The crisp 
snow lies glittering where it was dropped from the clouds or cast by 
the wind, an intense sunshine fills the transj^areut sky, and is reflected 
from the white clouds, and penetrates the pellucid ice. The figures he 
introduces are shown in movements which have all the vivacity be- 
longing to the season. 

Gignoux is a native of France, who for many years has made this 
country his home, and learned to love its scenery with all the aflection 
of one who passed his childhood here. He is never tired of wander- 
ing by our -^vild streams, of studying our boundless woods, with theii' 
vast variety of foliage, of climbing our rocky mountains and looking 
down into the pleasant valleys that stretch away in our clear and 
glowing atmosphere. To him Nature makes no reserve of her hidden 
beauties, and his portfolio, filled with studies of places the image ot 

1 56 THE VALLEY OF THE Jit) U S A T O N I C . 

whioh Avas never before tlirowu upon canvtis, is one of the richest ever 
possessed by landscape painter. 

In this view lie shows us the Valley of the Housatonic at New 
Milford, where the river, in its passage to the sea, takes its leave of 
the more beautiful parts of the country through which its flows. The 
time is early winter, as is shown by the tufts of sere foHage yet cling- 
ing to the trees and shrubs. Skaters are pursuing their sj)ort in the 
foreground, a sleigh is passing swiftly over a rude wooden bridge 
which crosses one of the tributaries of the Housatonic, and beyond, in 
the distance, rises the line of cold Ijlue hills which bound the valley. 
The snow has fallen through the naked trees to the earth, leaAdng the 
sides and summits of the hills dark with their branches. 

Below New Milford, the valley of the Housatonic, if it may still 
be called a valley, wears a tamer aspect. Let me, in a few words, 
trace the river in its progress to the ocean. The Housatonic has its 
birth among the highlands of Berkshire in the State of Massachusetts. 
Here it sports and sings away its infancy in the woods, leaping in its 
frolics from one rock to another. Of the brooks that form its current 
some luiger in the rich meadows of Lauesborough, where the lime- 
stone SOU nourishes a thick growth of gi'ass and gives a peeidiar dense- 
ness to the foliage of the trees. If I may trust to my I'ecoUection I 
have never observed the same freshness and brightness of verdure in 
the fields of any part of our country as in that neighborhood. As 
the stream increases in volume and strength, its season of play is over, 
and entering the In-oad and beautiful vale of Pittsfield, in what I may 
call the period of its youth, it is set to toil for man, and drives the 
machinery of cotton and woollen mills. Escaped from this servitude 
it murmurs awhile in the narrow and woody valleys of Lenox, where 
it is oidy of late that the kmgfisher has been startled by the t^lirill 
whistle of the railway engine, but it is soon (^mjiloyed in other tasks — 


to lift ;iu(l let fall the j^oudei-ous hammers of forges and make acres 
of paper for the daily press. In Stockbridge it begins to put on the 
majesty of manhood and winds backwards and forwards among the 
grassy natural terraces and maple woods, as if unwilling to leave so 
fair a region. In Great Barrington it flows slowly through meadows 
hemmed in by the picturesque summits of craggy mountain ridges. In 
Sheffield it has formed, by mining the ground for centuries, a vast plain 
of six miles in width, reaching to the base of the Taconic, the highest 
mountain along its course, dark, grand, and sending scores of clear 
rivulets down his steep sides to swell the current of his own fau- river. 
In Canaan the Housatonic casts its entire volume of amber-colored 
waters down a precipice of sixty feet in height, an overhanging shelf, 
as is the case with most of the waterfalls in this country, the layers of 
rock below having crumbled away, while the uppermost remains firm. 
It then pursues its way through a sort of glen, bounded east and west 
by ridges rich with massive woods, and fields running up their sides 
into the forest, till it reaches New IVIilford, the scene of Gignoux's 
picture. In all the places I have enumerated it turns huge wheels and 
labors in the mills, but a few miles below New Milford it lays itself 
sluggishly down between level banks and creeps to its final resting 
place in the ocean. From Derby downward to the Sound it is navi- 
gable, passively bearing out and bringing in a vessel now and then — 
like an aged man, retii^ed from the active employments of life, and 
good-naturedly carrying his grandchildren in his arms. 

The tributaries of the Housatonic are no less beautiful than the 
river itself. The lake in Stockbridge, a wonder of beauty, which the 
birth and residence of Miss Sedgwick in its neighborhood have made 
classical — I mention the name of the lady without reserve as I would 
that of any other person held in universal honor, — gives the tribute 
of its waters to the Housatonic. In Great Barrington, Green River 


comes iu Iroiu tlie west tlirougli cliarmiiig pastoral solitudes, with a 
current almost of a grass-green tint. The sister lakes in Salisbury, 
issue in a brook wliicli falls into this river. I am not certain wketlier 
the stream of Baskpisli, so mucli visited of late, wliicli throws itself 
down the steep sides of Taconic in a series of falls, flows into the 
riousatonic or not, but the cascade by universal consent is reckoned 
among the beautiful and picturescpe things of tlie valley. 

Some of the most remarkable atmosjjlieric appearances observed 
in this valley do not present themselves to the casual visitor, though 
he be an artist. I rememljer one of these altogether too glorious to 
be copied by the pencil. A thnnder-shower had arisen after a hot 
summer day. As the thunderbolts were dropping into the tops of the 
hills around, and the rain falhng in torrents, the sun, then about to 
set, illuminated the whole mass of clouds and i-ain, with an orange- 
colored light, which gradually passed into a deep crimson. The inner 
rooms of the houses were filled with the same ruddy lustre, which ght- 
tered reflected from the pools and streams in the road, and from the 
wet roofs of the houses, the grass, and the leaves of the trees. Above, 
the spectacle was still more extraordinary. The hghtniugs were lim- 
ning to and fro, appearing like ri\Tilets of molten gold, suddenly 
j)oured through the crimson clouds and as suddenly absorbed into 
them. The crimson glow slowly changed into a purple as the clouds 
were retiring, and the last flashes of the lightning and the last tinges 
of the clouds were blended with the cool blue light of the full moon 
shining from a sky of perfect transparency. 

At another time when at Sheflield, I was a spectator of a thunder- 
shower no less remarkable. After a day of extreme sultriness, the 
clouds began to rise behind Taconic and over its summit, with the 
muttcrings of distant thunder. Up they were heaved, higher and 
higliei-, (hirkcr and darker, heavier and hcaviei', till they became of a 


deep indigo tiut, and seemed as if the steeps of a for loftier mountain, 
one of tlie Alps or the Andes, had been heaped upon Taconic. Sud- 
denly the huge mass began to roll downwards with louder crashes of 
thunder, towards the sides of the mountain, as if it had broken over 
a barrier, carrying with it the strange indigo hue and an intense dark- 
ness, and sending before it winds which scoured the plain and raised 
clouds of dust, and filled the sky with leaves rent from the trees. I 
have never seen any aspect of the clouds so grand and awful as the 
apjiroaches of that thunder-shower. 

It was some time about the begiuning of the last century that the 
Dutch emigrants from the State of New- York, and the settlers from 
Connecticut and the eastern part of Massachusetts came at the same 
time uito the valley of the Hoasatoiiic. The descendants of the 
Hollanders chose Great Barrington and its neighborhood for their 
abode, where they had large farms on the rich lauds borderiug this 
river, and ke^^t large herds of cattle and horses. Their posterity, some- 
what intermingled with the English race, remaiu there yet, and I 
recollect that twenty-five years since they gave e\T:dence in their per- 
sons — for they were large-limbed men, almost colossal in size — of the 
eft'ect of a mixture of nations ujjon the human stature. In some of 
the households Dutch was still the language of the fireside, and those 
who were adopted into them, learned it as a matter of course, 
though they were often laughed at for the imperfect manner in which 
they spoke it. I recollect one of these tall Dutchmen boasting of the 
progress made in the tongue by a little boy who had come to live 
iu his family. I met the same man a few years since, and was inform- 
ed by him that he had lost his wife long ago and had nearly forgotten 
his Dutch. I infer that it is no longer a living language in Berkshire. 

But I have often reflected upon what would have been the conse- 
quence if the power of England had met the fate which befell the 


power of Ilollaud, aud if tliat republic had iloiirislied, wliile England 
fell into decay. The Dutch emigration would, of course, have filled 
the valley of the Housatonic. Bilderdijk would have been at this 
moment the favorite poet of the people on that river ; the romances 
of Loosjes would have taken the place of those of "Walter Scott ; the 
more devout would have read the sermons of Van der Palm, aud the 
lovers of mirth would have laughed at the jokes of Weiland. So far 
as concerns the fine arts, the dwellings would have been more pic- 
turesque, comfortable Dutch houses with low roofs and spacious stoops, 
embowered in trees, instead of the gi'im, naked, and tasteless habitations 
of the Yankees. The painters who sought their subjects among the 
inhabitants of the valley would have painted interiors after the man- 
ner of Teniers, or elaborate and highly finished landscapes, in which 
fidelity to nature was more regarded than the selection of objects, after 
the manner of Cuyp. 



Upox a ))eautil'ul July eveuiug, the writer was passing up Lake 
Cliauiplaiu in oue of tlie fine steamboats that ply upon its lovely 
waters. Happening to raise his eyes from the plaia of glass which 
stretched before him, his attention was arrested by a mountain mass 
tracing an irregular Hne against the golden background of the West. 
Just over the highest peak was the descending sun, and the whole 
mass was invested with an azure hue soft as a remembered sorrow, 
and sweet as a hope of the future. It seemed as if seraphic music 
might breathe from that dreamy mist, as if on those summits rested 
the quietude of heaven. It was the mass of the Adirondacks. 

These splendid mountains form a group, the loftiest of a range 
which extends, in the Northern section of New-Yoi'k, from Little 
Falls on the Mohawk to Tremljleau Point on Lake Champlaia. The 
group heaves up into and above the clouds its cone-like peaks and 
jagged ridges, which seem, from some commanding view, as if a stormy 
ocean had become suddenly fixed in its wildest tossings. The range 
in which occurs this group runs in a northeasterly dii-ectiou, forming 



the easterly and most elevated portion of what is deuominated the 
Plateau of Northern New- York — which Plateau is bounded l)y the 
waters of the St. Lawrence and Ontario, the Black and Mohawk 
rivers and Lake Champlain. The group is composed of several 
summits, the loftiest of which are Mounts Marcy, Mclntyre, McMar- 
tin and Santanoni, the two latter rising 5000 feet above the tide, and 
the two former over that elevation. The highest is Mount Marcy 
(the Indian name being Ta-ha-wus — "He splits the Sky"), the 
loftiest eminence in our State, raising itself to a mile in height. 
From its summit of gray rock is a forest prospect, three hundred 
miles in circumference. The forked lightning darts from clouds far, 
far below this peak, and the fir which on the sides of the mountain 
rises to a stately shape, diminishes to a creeping shrub, and at last 
vanishes from the face of the stern cold summit. Near it springs 
the most northern source of the Hudson, whilst the whole group, 
forming the highest portion of the northern watershed, pours its 
streams, which become majestic rivers, in all directions. 

Manifold lakes lie along the bases of these wild mountains, whose 
crystal bosoms are only disturbed by the canoe of the Indian hunter, 
or casual sportsman, the leap of the monster trout, the dip of the 
screaming diver, or the motions of the swimming deer. Such are 
lakes Golden, Avalanche, Sanford, and Henderson. 

A dense forest mantles the slopes and valleys of the region, within 
which live the splendid moose, the lurking panther, the dark heavy 
bear, and quick timid deer. In a few shaded streams still linger the 
heaver, the loneliest of the forest habitants, known only to the most 
indefatigable traj)pe]-. 

The Adirondack Pass in this group is wild and savage as the 
imagination can conceive. Situated between Mount Mclntyre and 
Wallface, a perpendiculiu- pi'ccipice of a thousand feet rears itself on 


one side, upon the summit of wliicli lofty firs apj^ear, like a frino'e, 
a few inches in height, whilst the gorge itself is piled with rocks upon 
which grow trees of fifty feet. 

It is a sublime cathedral of nature, whose stillness awes the soul, 
and whose voice, supplied by the storm, hft a tremendous anthem to 
the God whose wonderful power was employed in its creation. 

Such is the Adirondack region, smTOunded by the smiling civiliza- 
tion of om- Empu-e State, but remaining still as countless centuries 
have seen it, probably since the waters of the Deluge. 



The engraving represents one of the wildest and most beautiful 
Lakes in the State of New York, and probably in the United States. 
It is situated partly in the counties of Warren and Essex, is nine miles 
long and aljout one mile wide. The view is taken from an island in 
the north end of the Lake, at the time when 

" Twilight's sliade comes stealing on, 
O'er mountain, wood, and stream, 
Wrapping the dim, far-stretching Lake 
In a hush'd and lioly dream." 

It is peculiarly American in its character, being both wild and 
pictm-esque, and one which the artist delighted to portray. 

Schroon, PJiaraos or Bluebeard Mountain, which is the most pro- 
minent peak in the picture, is about four mUes from the Lake, and 
attains an altitude of 3,200 feet. The more distant are the peaks of 
the Eastern range of the Adirondacks. That at the right of the en- 
graving is the Saddleljack Mountain. The shores of the Lake are 
covered Avitli the dense foliage as seen in the engraving. 


The red cedar in tlie foregrouud is oue of tlie nol)le trees which 
abound on the borders of the Mountain Lakes in this section of our 
country, interspersed with the maple, hemlock, and pine. Around the 
extreme pomt, jutting into the Lake and seen through the trees, flows 
the uol)le Hudson, which at this point is but a very small stream, and 
which connects Schroon with Paradox Lake. 

The island from which the scene was taken, is owned and is now 
the residence of Andrew Ireland, Esq., formerly of this city, from the 
north end of which a magnificent view of the whole eastern range of 
the Adu'ondacks may be had. The name of the lamented Cole is 
identified with American Scenery, and while he continued to paint the 
scenery of America, he was unapproached. He it was that first gave 
the Amei'icau landscape character, and whose genius delighted in poi'- 
traying the wild and romantic beauty of her forests, lakes, and water- 
falls, and who so truthfully presented to the admiring eye the gran- 
deur of her sunsets, tornadoes, and autumn's gorgeous livery. He it 
was who first taught us tliat we need not leave our own wild and 
beautiful scenery for sul)jects snitaT)le for pictorial embellishment. 
The scene here given is but one of America's magnificent Lakes, and 
it is to be regretted that we have not more views of the Lakes of 
Essex from the pencil of this favorite artist. The accompanymg en- 
graving is made from the original in the possession of Mrs. Cole, who 
has many of the remaining productions of this distinguished painter. 



The comprelieusive title at the head of this page is not a promise of 
a formal essay, but has heen taken as a convenient because sufficiently 
expansible heading, to cover some desultory remarks suggested by the 
rapid growth among us, during the last few years, of talent and taste 
for Art. 

The American has frequent occasion to say, in answer to hasty 
strictures of foreigners, particularly those from Great Britain, that 
they " do not understand us ;" and the reply, irrepressible from its 
truth, has been much ridiculed by our transatlantic cousins, as if it 
were easy to draw conclusions from superficial facts. The reverse is, 
however, the case, both from the difficulty of knowing all the facts, 
and the necessity of having a right point of view. As, because of 
the variety, which gives indi^aduahty of character, no one man can 
thoroughly understand another, but each has received a distinctness 
from his pecuhar temperament, mental structure, early circumstances, 
and all those influences which make up his education, so we may well 
doubt the ability of an observer, however candid and intelhgent, to 


luiderstaiul the people of auother uatiou. Forms of governnieiit, 
climate, pursuits of life as affected by soil or position, descent whether 
pure or mixed, seclusion from other portions of mankind or inter- 
course with them, historical associations, hereditary habits and preju- 
dices, language, literature, religion, with many other less sorutable )jut 
imjDortaut coalescing causes, render each nation an enigma to all 
others. Civilization is a mystery to the savage, and the savage no less 
a mystery to his civilized brother. A Laplander and an Arab, if 
thrown together, would scarcely agree in aught but the appetites, pas- 
sions, and faculties common to man. An adult Turk could never be 
turned into an Anglo-Saxon, nor an Anglo-Saxon into a Turk ; they 
might exchange countries and garments, but, while life lasted, the one 
would delight to steal away from the bustle around him that he might 
enjoy in cross-legged repose his revery of trustful fatalism, and the 
other would shuffle forth in his slippers eager after the latest news. 
It is hardly more possiljle for an Englishman to comprehend a 
Frenchman, or a Frenchman an Englishman, though they have been 
within a few hours of each other since time immemorial. Solid John 
Bull looks upon the grimaces of his mercurial neighljor, as upon the 
tricks of a mountebank's monkey, while he of the Grande Nation^ 
shrugging his elastic shoulders, returns the contempt by muttering, 
" BC^e .'" How utterly strange to us in this country is the readiness 
with which the revolutionary masses of the old world, after months of 
fire and carnage and bluster, subside before the Ttayonets of an auto- 
crat ! Aud how far beyond the concejition of European statesman- 
ship is the simple law by which the very multiplicity of our well- 
guarded state sovereignties best secures our national union ! 

Tliere arc strong retisons why our American charaetcristics are 
slowly understood by others; biassed through our reading of histori- 
cal pi'ecedents, we are apt to judge incorrectly of ourselves ; nor can 


any question touching our manners or tendencies, be properly dis- 
cussed without going over and carefully considering the circumstances 
in which they have been developed. Our origin, situation, constitu- 
ents, and manner of growth, are so unexampled as almost to exclude 
analogy. Compared with all others, ancient or modern, our nation is 
an anomaly. Coming into being when the mind of Europe, especially 
of Great Britain, had reached a high degree of cultivated strength, 
the American people sprung less from the loins than from the brain of 
her great parent, not, indeed, full-grown, but with a precocious vigor 
far beyond childhood. The early colonists of British race were, for 
the most part, of that stern, indomitable faith, which, loyal to a divine 
sovereign, unhesitatingly challenged human usurpations. Those from 
Holland, then just emancipated, after a long struggle with bigot 
Spain, and the Huguenot exiles, preferring expatriation to apostacy, 
were of the same liberty-loving, yet severe creed. Religious sympa- 
thy prepared them for political co-ojjeratiou ; and they, acting really 
long before they acted formally together, gave, as the predominating 
element, a unity of purpose to the scattered settlements, Avhich could 
not othen\dse have been expected from their heterogeneous origin. 
Educated by difficulties in the old world, they were ready to meet, 
with intelligent, hopeful courage, the difficulties of the new. They 
were also of equal rank, and, for the most part, equal fortunes. 
Hereditary nobility and privileged classes were not recognized among 
them. Such pretensions, where personal labor was required of all, 
would have been ridiculous. Oppressed, at times, by the imperial ex- 
actions of the mother country, and the insolence of its proconsular 
representatives, they yet could not be debarred the filial prerogative 
of using the English tongue and the unequalled stores of wisdom, po- 
litical, literary, and religious, already provided by English pens. 

The land in which they sought a new home, seemed to have been 


reserved by a jiredetermining Providence for tliem. Other great 
states, established by conquest or colonization, have been founded 
among pre-resident tribes, who, miagling with the new-comers, have 
exerted an influence, sometimes not small, upon the character of the 
future nation. Unless we utterly discredit their traditionary annals, 
we find Pelasgic names interspersed among the Cecropida^ of Athens ; 
and trace the growth of Rome in her successive engorgements of 
neighboring peoj^le. The excellence of the present British character 
is fairly attriljutalde to the fusion of several bloods in one. But the 
aborigines of this country, too few and too savage to cidtivate the 
wilderness, resisted feel)ly the disciphned invaders, while theii- color, 
liut still more their siugxdar spirit, forbade amalgamation. Our fathers 
had the whole country to themselves, and found here neither arts, nor 
customs, nor alliances. Separated by a wide ocean from the inveterate 
prejudices and hereditary proscriptions which retard older nations, 
they had opportunity for ex|)eriment ; while, at the same time, their 
commercial enterprise, the main secret of Anglo-Saxon superiority, 
brought them the stimulants of example and emulation. Their insti- 
tutions were not indigenous, l)ut havdng been first selected from what 
they considered the best stocks of Europe, then modified and adapted 
to theii' exigencies and views by various intergraftings, they grew 
rapidly and fruitfully in the virgin soil. Thus the principles of our 
government were educed, not from the hypotheses of Utopian philoso- 
phers, or slavish imitations, or a fortuitous concourse of elements, oi- 
even from the mere pressure of circumstances, but from a sturdy com- 
mon sense, regulated by scriptm-al faith, inij^roved by study, warned 
by the failures and encouraged by the successes of all antecedent 
time, animnted l)y an insatiable thirst fi)r lil)erty, compelled l>y tlie 
vital necessity of union, and supported by physical strength earned in 
felling forests and subduing wild farms. In a happy hour the govern- 


ment was independently establislied. Since then, on that broad, and, 
as every true heart hopes, indestructible basis, our nation has been 
built up from prohfic natural increase and emigration to us out of op- 
pressed and over-peopled countries. Our territories have been wide- 
ly, yet safely enlarged, until now a broad region between the sea, on 
whose shores the early settlers landed, and the Pacilic, over which the 
eager eye of our enterprise looks out for fresh aggrandisements, is 
mhabited by a brotherhood governed hj the one law of theii- own 

Under the pressure of such cares, and struggles, and urgent anxie- 
ties, there could be neither time nor desire for the cultivation of those 
elegant pursuits which are the luxury of leisure, the decoration of 
wealth, and the charm of refinement. The Puritans and the Presby- 
terians, together the most influential, were not favorable to the Fine 
Arts ; and the Quakers abjured them. Men living in log cabins and 
busied all the day in field, workshop, or warehouse, and hable to 
attack by savage enemies at any moment, were mdisposed to seek 
after or encourage what was not immediately useful. Their hard- 
earned and precarious gains would not justify the indulgence. There 
were few, or rather no specimens of artistic skill among them to 
awaken taste or imitation. It is, therefore, httle to be wondered at, if 
they did not show an appreciation of Ai-t proportionate to their ad- 
vance in other moral respects ; or that they waited until they had 
secured a substantial prosperity, before they ventured to gratify 
themselves with the beautiful. The brilhant examples of West and 
Copley, with some others of inferior note, showed the presence of 
genius, but those artists found abroad the encouragement and instruc- 
tion not attainable at home, thus depriving theii- country of all share 
in theii- fame except the credit of having given them bii-th. 

As a sense of security and increasing riches began to be felt, about 


tlie l)egimuiig of the century, we discover tokens of ;i more generous 
spirit. Distinguislied men returned from honorable missions with an 
appetite for Art, excited by what they had seen in the capitals of 
Europe. The enthusiasm and example of Peale, Stuart, Trumbull, 
and others native-born and foreigners, could not be without etfect. 
Aspirants to the honors of the pencil and burin became numerous 
enough to form associations for their mutual benefit; and, at least 
among the better few, a disposition to encourage their efforts was ap- 
parent. Two valuable collections of casts fi'om the antique were ob- 
tained ; one for the New- York Academy of Fine Arts, through Chan- 
cellor Luv'iNGSTON ; the other for the Pennsylvania Academy at Phi- 
ladelphia, through the zeal of Judge Hopkinson ; some good pictures 
were imported, and some good, with many inferior, produced at home ; 
the Academies and Artists' Associations attempted exhibitions, private 
entei'prise oj^ened others, and, doubtless, though not eminently suc- 
cessful, they all contributed to impi'ove the taste of the public. In- 
creasing wealth, means of communication with the old world, and the 
travel of many Americans abroad, rapidly extended a spii-it favorable 
to Art in every form, which was yet more stimulated by the rise 
among us, almost simultaneously, of men whose genius in several de- 
partments of jiainting and of sculptui'e, startled and delighted us with 
a galaxy of talent deserving eminence among cotemporaneous com- 
petitors in any j^art of the world. Some of them are still living, 
others have died too soon ; but their brilliant names need not l)e writ- 
ten here, for they are inscribed high in the records of theii* country's 
fame and on the hearts of us all. Since then, especially since the 
establishment of the National Academy of Design, (of which our most 
h()noral)ly distinguished but ill-rerpiited fellow-citizen, S. P. B. Morse, 
was the first President,) in 182G, and more esjiecially within tlie last 


ten years, large advances have been made, and Ai't has fairly liegun 
to floui'isli among us, giving rich earnest of yet higlier attainments. 

There has been and Avill be dispute as to the comparative efficiency 
of the various means which have been adopted for the encouragement 
of Art in the United States. Institutions and individuals contend for 
the honor, and some deserve more of it than others ; but our office is 
not to settle such quarrels. There should, however, be no recrimina- 
tions between Artists and the friends (patrons is an ungenerous word) 
of Ai-t. Each class is necessarj^ to the other. It is a false (and, hap- 
pily, now nearly obsolete) policy, to force through the fundamental 
laws of supply and demand. Men will not consent to be scolded or 
ridiculed out of theu- money ; and if they prefer bull-feasts, or gaudy 
furniture, or miserly accumulation to pictures or statuary, their money 
is their own, nor have we a right to take it out of their hands. We 
may be pained to think that any are disappointed, when we could re- 
joice in the success of all the deserving ; yet it must not be forgotten, 
that in the compensating distributions of Providence, genius, so libe- 
rally endowed with its own exquisite pleasures, can rarely expect the 
profits of trade. It is the duty of the artist to instruct us by his own 
beautiful and elevating works ; and, when we have been so educated 
in the high moral uses and noble gratifications to be derived from Art, 
we should be indeed ungrateful if the due of the master be withheld. 
The distribution of good specimens through the community, however 
accomplished, is the only sure method of spreading a desire for more, 
and the harvest will repay the seed manifold. In the language of 
Holy Writ, there must be " a patient continuance in well-doing" by 
those who " look for glory and honor ;" but " in due season they shall 
reap if they fiiint not." Nor have the profits of our artists been alto- 
gether contemptible ; for, while we regret that, owing j^rincipally to 
the smallness of American fortmies, some of the best have not brought 


their value, it is also certain that works of art geiiei'ally meet with 
fair pi'ices ; and thei'e is no conntr}- where so large a proportion of its 
artists are living comfortably on their earnings, or where the gains ot 
talent in Art compares so favorably with those of equal talent in other 
pursuits of life, as this. We may rebuke and even lash the stupid indif- 
fei'ence of those able, yet unwilling, to encourage liberally the eflfoi-ts 
of genius ; but it degrades Art to set it whining after patronage, or to 
confound it with every self-inflated aspirant to the name of artist who 
has set up an easel, trims his beard a la Van Dyke, and in the very 
outset imagines himself a compeer of Raffaele. Happily, the very 
great majority of our recognized artists are gentlemen in the true 
sense of the word, shunning the bad taste of eccentricity, and despising 
charlatanry ; while they depend for success on their own generous de- 
votion to their elevated calhng, and patient enthusiasm in the cultiva- 
tion of the gifts with which the good God has endowed them. They 
will not lose their reward. 

The main features of human nature must be radically the same, 
however various the modifications of which they are capable ; and, 
though there have been peculiar reasons for the delay of Art among 
us, yet its history in this country has not been altogether singular. 
The rise and progress of Art are justly attriljutable to concurrent and 
successive natural causes working out, through the agency of man 
under the economy of a wise providence, the beneficent designs of 
God. Wealth and jiolitical stability have always preceded Art ; but 
where those have been gained, its progress has been proportionate, 
because it meets with that innate fondness for beauty and imitation of 
His divine works which is a universal attiibute of the creatui-e made 
after the image of his Creator. Taste and genius exist among every 
people, and, where depressing circumstances give place to more favor- 
able, they will appear and compel regard, whatever be the ]')articular 


machinery by wHcli tlie end is gained. Even where influences seem 
most adverse, this tendency shows itself, though by feeble efforts ; and 
the growth of art may be obscurely traced long before it bursts into 
sudden splendor. In what degree Greece derived her Art from the 
early Eastern empires it is not easy to guess. Religion, especially 
under idolatrous forms, would naturally suggest first the structure of 
imposing temjiles and representative images. Djedalus, if he be not 
a mythical fiction, is the earliest name in the annals of Grecian art, 
and he was a sculptor, most probably of wood ; but, though we read 
of a few others scattered along the interval, seven or eight centuries 
must have elapsed between his date and that of Phidias. Some de- 
scriptions m Homer indicate the existence of designing skill, of which 
there remained no adequate specimens as indubitable proof. The con- 
venient quarries of snowy Parian and sparkling Pentelican greatly 
encouraged the use of marble in building and statuary. Still it is 
certain that, until after the Persian war, art in Athens and all Greece 
was in its swaddling clothes ; but, through the magnificent foster-care 
of the elegant demagogue Pericles, in less than forty years Archi- 
tecture reached perfection. Sculpture had achieved by the hand of 
Phidias her most sublime triumphs, and Paintmg, in the frescoes of 
the Propyloea, had exhibited strong promise soon to be fully devel- 
oped. We are astonished and instructed by the crowd of men emi- 
nent in these several departments, who flourished in the course of the 
half century of which Phidias was the Angelo: Ictinus, Calli- 
CBATES, and Innesicles, architects ; Polycletus, Mtron, Alcasienes, 
Atsladas (the younger), Nestocles, Athenodorus (the elder), and 
Calamis, sculptors ; Pan^nus, Poltgnotus, Apollodorus, Parrhasius, 
Zeitxis, and Tlmanthes, painters. Thirty years after. Sculpture, wliich 
could not advance in grandeur beyond the Phidian Jupitei-, A\iis cai'- 
ried to its highest point of spiritual grace by Praxiteles; and I'aiiit- 


ing, in less tliau seventy, attained its aucient acme uucler Apelles and 
Protogenes. From this time Art, though Lirgely practised aud ilhis- 
trated occasionally by works of great merit, began to decline. 

The re\dval of Art in Europe is remarkable for similar facts. The 
first impulse came, through ecclesiastical associations, from the East, 
and the monuments of classical genius were overlooked. BusciiErro, 
(or BuscHETTUs) a Greek, built in the eleventh century the Cathedi-al 
of Pisa ; but it was not until the middle of the thirteenth, that we 
find the Sculptors Giovanni aud Nicolo Pisani spreading their really 
beautiful works through Italy. Donatello and Ghibeeti, about the 
close of the fourteenth, left behind them achievements which have 
received admiration from all subsequent ages. Cimabue, in the latter 
half of the thirteenth century, began the emancipation of Painting 
from depraved Byzantine taste ; and his superior scholar Giotto pur- 
sued the good work Avith admirable courage. Brunelleschi (the 
architect) introduced clearer notions of persj^ective ; and jNIasaccio, 
making nature his guide, and discarding still more the restrictions 
which had hindei'ed freedom and breadth, excelled in the spii'it of his 
attitudes and the harmony of his colors. Thus, by slow and arduous 
steps, did Art ascend from its living tomb during more than two cen- 
turies until Peeugino; but immediately after it shone forth with a 
lustre which has never since been equalled and can never be surpassed. 
About this time, under the admirable politics of Lorenzo the Mag- 
nificent, the balance of power in Italy, which had been so long dis- 
turbed by cruel and confused wars, became settled ; and the conse- 
quence was a general prosperity. Lorenzo employed large wealth 
during the long peace in the encom-agement of learning aud art. lie 
collected many antique statues and the best pictures then to be found, 
within a ])alace, which he opened as an academy. The power of his 
li])ei'al exam])le, coextensive with that of liis statesmanship, was felt 


at Milan, then under tlie Sforzas ; at Venice, then in its palmy day ; at 
Rome, then richest and proudest, and even at unhappy Naples. This 
affluent calm ushered in the great period of Italian Art, which began 
with Da Vinci and closed with Rafaelle. Within less than fifty 
years, between 14'70 and 1520, flourished Da Vinci, Angelo, Raf- 
aelle, Titian, Coereggio, Del Sarto, and Giorgione ; and, a few years 
later, Giulio Romano, Tintoretto, Parmeggiano, and Pol. Caeavag- 
Gio. From this time, Italy being again con\Tilsed, with the brilliant ex- 
ception of Baroccto, Art continued to decline, until in another long 
peace, during the latter half of the sixteenth century, we discover a 
second constellation only inferior to the first ; Paolo Veronese, the 
Caracci, Guido, Dojienichino, and Michael Angelo Caeavaggio. The 
only names of later date worthy to be given with those above, are 
Salvator Rosa and Carlo Dolce, who were cotemporaneous about 
the middle of the seventeenth century. 

France hardly aftbrds us an example in point. Her Art was im- 
mediately derived from Italy, and her best artists flourished there. 
We may observe, however, that the prosperous administration of 
Sully seems fii'st to have given the energy which produced her best 
masters, and that in the forty years between 1582 and 1622, were 
born Vixet, the Poussins, Claude Lorraine, Blanchard. the Mk;- 
NARDS, De Brun, Sarapin, aiid PUGET. 

Antwerp, until the destruction of its harbor, the chief seat of 
commerce in the Low Countries, had attained the culminating point 
of its fortunes after the middle of the sixteenth century, and its 
citizens were proud of their wealth. As a consequence. Art, which, 
in Flanders, had been struggling upward from Van Eyck (who 
flom'ished about the beginning of the fifteenth century), Breug- 
hel, and Van Ort (born 155'?), was elevated to a glorious 
height by the simultaneous excellences of Rubens, Van Dyke, Sny- 

178 ai:t in the united states. 

DEES, Teniers, and Jordaexs, all of wliom were born Ijetween 1576 
and 1600. 

The United Provinces, before 1610, had shown themselves strong 
enough to maintain their freedom from the yoke of Spain, and estab- 
lished their admirable government. A similar triumph of Art fol- 
lowed ; and, accordingly, a multitude of artists appeared in Holland. 
HoNTHOEST (Gherardo delle NoiTi), CuYP, Eejibrandt, Gerard 
Douw, Both, the elder Van der Welde, Van Ostade, Wouverjians, 
Paul Potter, Backhutsen, Jan Steex, Ruysdael, Van der ^^^elde 
the son, were all born between 1592 and 1636. 

William of Orange ascended the throne of Great Britain in 
1689. The ecclesiastical buildings of that island contain eiddences of 
Art at an early period, and further down we read of Hilliard, 
Oliver, Jajieson, Cooper, Wtatt, Grinling Gibbons, and others ; 
but they are obscure, and seldom spoken of compared to those of the 
foreigners, Holbein, Van Dyke, Lely, Kneller, and the two Van der 
Veldes, who were liberally rewarded by royal and uoljle patrons. The 
establishment of civil and religious liberty, after the expulsion of the 
Stuarts, was followed by a general and increasing prosperity. During 
the reign of George P. and H. the power and wealth of Britain made 
large progress ; and at the accession of George HI. she had reached 
her pre-eminence in Europe. We are not, thei'efore, disappointed 
when we look for a coirespondently flourishing condition of Art. 
Hogarth, born in 1698, was at the height of his fame in 1735, and 
continued to flourish until his death in 1762. Within the time of 
Hogarth, and in the half century between 1713 and 176-4, were born 
Stuart, Wilson, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Barrett, Romney, Run- 
ciMAN, Nollekens, Banks, Bacon, Cosway, Barry, Wyait, North- 
cote, Flaxman, Blake, Opie, and Morland. West and Copley also 
were born in America, 1737-8, the former settling in England, 1763; 


the latter, 1775. This list, it -nail be perceived, comprises men emi- 
nent in every department. Under the lil)eral encouragement of 
Geokge III. the Royal Academy was established in 1766, of which 
the first president was Reynolds, and the second our countryman 
West. Of Art in Great Britain sul«eqnently, there is no need that 
we should speak. 

These memoranda show that we have great reason for encourage- 
ment with regard to the progress of Art in this country. It has begun 
to flourish as early in the history of our nation as circumstances, ac- 
cording to all precedent, would allow. Nor should we think that its 
farther development must necessarily be slow. It is the characteristic 
of Art, when fairly awakened, to make progress by large strides ; and 
we may well feel the shame of disappointment if this should not be 
the case ia the United States. We are as a people successftd in all 
the pursuits of industry, and as a nation secure in the justness and 
stabihty of our government. The day has therefore come, when, 
with no neglect of matters \dtal to our general safety, we should culti- 
vate liberally those refined tastes which will add grace to our strength, 
and vindicate our national character from the imputation of an undue 
lust of gain. The new rich are ordinarily fond of display in costly 
appliances of luxurious life. They delight in a vulgar ostentation of 
mere expense before the eyes of the less fortunate, or in rivaUmg the 
tinsel splendor of each other. Intoxicated with sudden wealth, they 
are eager to lavish it, yet know not how to do so elegantly or credita- 
bly. This childish folly is rife among us. Many (comparatively) 
large fortunes are now in the hands of successful adventurers, Avho 
lack the education which teackes the better value of money. Hence 
we see on every hand a straining after efifect disproportionate to the 
scale of things. Houses, not beyond the size of comfortable mansions, 
receive an architectural decoration suitable only to large palaces ; and 


the two or three narrow rooms on the prinoii^al floor are so crowded 
with glaring furniture as to drive the family, when not ou exhibition, 
down into the obscure Ijut more home-like basement. Festivals are 
given with an extravagant ambition, which can only be cariied out by 
the aid of hired services and supernumerary servants. Eobes, fit only 
for the evening drawing-room, sweep the dust of the pavement. Men, 
after having drudged all the day in office or counting-house, spend 
the night in aping the fashions of idle aristocrats, to begin again their 
necessary toil unrestored by sleep, while their wives and families live 
only to scatter what they have gathered with anxious industry. It is 
not surprising that pictures, or other works of Art, should be rare in 
their houses. They have no leisure even to read, much less to culti- 
vate taste ; their talk is of money, and they flatter then* pride of purse 
Tjy contemning all who, absorbed in liberal pursuits, have filled their 
heads rather than their pockets. The evil will not long be so ram- 
pant. It must grow less as the possession of riches ceases to he a 
novelty; and, especially, when the next generation, educated from 
infancy, perhaps enlightened by foreign travel in countries where let- 
ters and art are regarded as glory, comes upon the stage, a better sen- 
timent will prevail, and money be devoted to more honorable ends. 
Even now we are not without pleasing exceptions to the general lault. 
There are those, who, uncorru2:)ted by the habits and successes of busi- 
ness, delight to relieve its fatigues, not by animal indulgences, but 
spiritual enjoyments; with whom the scholar, the man of science, and 
the artist, are honored guests ; from whose apartments l)ooks are not 
excluded as unfashionable lumber, and on whose walls a picture is not 
thought to be a deformity. These are the men who have encouraged 
the artist's zeal, and to whom, next to the artist and scarcely less, we 
owe a large inijji'ovcmeiit of tlie publif feeling for Art and its already 
gratifying acliievciiiciits. 'I'lic Art of clas.sicMl .•iiiti(|iiitv arose in a 


democracy; to the mereliaut Medici it owed its revival in modern 
times ; in the commercial states of the Netherlands appeared the only 
original school out of Italy ; and why should not Art flourish in our 
rei^uljlic, where the lounging idler is a nuisance, and skilful occupation 
a title to respect ? 

In the history of Art we are glad to see refuted a common preju- 
dice that it demands peculiar conditions of climate, atmosphere, and 
natural scenery ; or that it is the endowment of any particular people ; 
or that it flourishes better under superstition than truth. It first ap- 
peared in the far, sultry East, where at this late day are now exhumed 
its stupendous remains. It shone forth under the clear skies of Greece 
long centuries after its oblivion in Asia. When Art was splendid in 
Athens and Rhodes, and Cos and Corinth, it had no native growth in 
Italy. The pictures and the statues with which Rome was crowded, 
were the work of Grecian hands. Pliny has barely rescued from for- 
getfulness the names of two or three countrymen of his, who imitated 
the Grecian school, but they scarcely deserved the record. Again, 
when Art had been irreparably lost to Greece for well nigh a thousand 
years, Italy became the theatre of its highest glory, and claimed the 
prerogative of teaching the world. Even there was there a distinc- 
tion. If study of antique forms in the clear, dry atmosphere of Rome, 
gave to her school its unequalled perception of form, the moistened 
air of Venice enabled her artists to study the coloring of nature,* 

* About the year 1824 tlie writer had the pleasure of a convei-sation with Gilbert 
Stuart, and asked him why it was that the Venetian school so fai- excelled the Roman in 
coloiing. He made no reply, but for a few moments carelessly bmmshed with his handker- 
chief a plain gold ring on his finger — when turning it to the sunlight he sharjJy said : " Can 
you see color in that ling, sir ?" " Veiy indistinctly." He then breathed upon it, and show- 
ing it again, asked : "Do you see color now, sh?" A hajjpy illustration, characteristic of flic 
eminent artist. 


wliile those of Lomltai-dy, holdiug a middle place, united grace and 
beauty. Almost alone in ^i^am we see tlie star-like lustre of tlie ex- 
quisite MuRiLLO. Then, leaping, as it were, over the space between, 
Art found another home among the fogs and marshes of the Low 
Coimtries, where she exhibited herself in new and striking combma- 
tious. Thence the transition to our ancestral Britain was easy ; and 
now, go where we will in the civihzed world, we find the living artist. 
Germany, notwithstanding the early inspiration of Albert Durek, is 
onlj^ of late succeeding in the establishment of a school of her own. 
Rauch of Berlin, and Schwanthaler of Munich, have won most 
enviable fame in the grandest styles of sculpture ; nor should it be 
forgotten, that the greatest sculptor of the age, the greatest since 
Angelo, the Scandiua\'iau Thorwaldsen, emerged from the Ultima 
77t ide of the ancients. In our land we have every variety of climate 
and atmosj^here, with a commingling of all the cultivated races ; 
genius for each department of skill has appeared among us. Is it then 
presumption to hope that, as empire marches westward. Art may here 
attain the lustre reserved for her destined acquisition of universal 
sway ? 

Too much stress has been laid upon the encouragement of Art by 
the classical mythology of the ancient world, and the legendary tra- 
ditions, that cling like parasitic masses about a better creed. These 
may be favorable, but are not necessary to Art. The ideal of power, 
beauty, heroic endurance, or moral emotion, is the creature of the 
artist's soul. He embodies it in form, and but calls that form by a 
popular name. The anthropinal character of their gods enabled the 
ancients to apjiroach more nearly their idea of divinity ; but no genius 
has adequately translated into human shape the God of our faith, 
"whom no man hath seen or can see." Ov'er])owered as we are by 
other conceptions of Angelo, we are disajipointed, if not pained, l)y 


his figures of tlie Almiglity ; aud our liope is unsatisfied wlieu we look 
upon the canvas of Carlo Dolce, or even Rafaelle, for tlie Divinity 
whom we adore in the Man Christ Jesus. The Jupiter of the Elian 
Olympia appears again, though with more noble attributes, in the 
Jehovah of the Cistine ; aud the precipitation of the wicked in the 
tremendous Last Judgment might, with a proper change of the acces- 
sories, present to the mind of a pagan Greek an overthrow of con- 
spii'ing Titans. An adequate personification of Wisdom could not fail 
of Ijeiug a reminiscence of Minerva, though without helmet or aegis. 
Benjajiin West saw the symmetrical strength and graceful energy of 
a young Mohawk warrior in the Pythian Archer of the Vatican. 
Were the Satan of Milton wrought in marble, there would be on his 
thunder-scarred brow the defiant despair of Prometheus bound. Venus, 
who once in Cyprus struggled with Adonis, has given her cestus to 
the wife of Potiphar, scorned, nevertheless, like herself; or, converted 
from her sins, weeps with Magdalen in the desert, who, the painters 
seem unanimously to think, never regained her modesty with her 
penitence. In the martyr, we discover constancy under suftering, 
sweetened by forgi\-ing patience and sublimated by celestial hope. 
The virtues and the vices, the appetites and the passions of human 
natm-e, are peculiar to no age. As Art is spiritualized, it becomes 
independent of mere outer accidents ; the true type, however exoteri- 
cally given, is ever the same, and the true artist will ever find it in his 
soul, though to esj^i'ess it, he may use j;)revailiug associations, as the 
philosopher teaches in the tongue of his disciples. A like strain of 
remark is apj^licable to drapery, for it is ever a jioor artifice because 
uuti'uthful (which should be synonymous with unartistic) to clothe an 
individual of one period in the fashion of another. Washington in a 
toga is an afl:rout to our common sense ; and he who cannot give us 
the foremost man of modern times in his own "-arb, should confess a 


genius uuequal to the jjortraitm-e. An artist is uot obliged to copy all 
the fautastic caprices of fashion, l)ut his invention is very weak if, like 
a country tailor, he can work only after obsolete patterns. lie has 
the I'ight of contrivance in costume, but imagiaation must be ruled by 
propriety. So many are the beauties of Kafaelle, that we are apt to 
overlook the drapery of his figures, not its color or apphcatiou to the 
form, but its naturalness, yet it greatly assists the pure harmony 
which is the superlative charm of his works ; while Guido, charming 
as he is, and easy in the disjjosition of the drapery he chooses, has 
decorated his archangel like a celestial Alcibiades. Our own Hun- 
tington, who has more of Rafaelle's elevated serenity than any 
other recent artist, shows, especially in his allegorical pictures, how 
superior a true artist is to pedantic affectation, when dressing his 

No artists of modern tunes have had such opportunities for origi- 
nality, or such untrodden walks opened before them, as ours ; and it 
should be their honoi'able aim, so far as is consistent ^^■ith the peculiar 
tendency of their genius, to illustrate the country of their birth. 
PoLYGNOTUs, after he had depicted on the walls of the Pcecilo the 
victories of his compatriots, lived by a vote of the Amphictyonic Comi- 
cil as the guest of all Greece ; and an American, who should success- 
fully follow his example, would not remain unhonored. Every petty 
town of Europe has in its public walks statues of those who have been 
feared or loved. How few are the memorials of our mighty dead ! 
It is vain to say that they live in our hearts, when we are too 
niggard to prove by outward sign the sentiment we profess. Sad 
would it be, if there were preserved no likeness of our country's 
Father, and we could uot gaze with filial veneration ujton that t-ahn 
majesty of countenance and form which is the visible presentment of 
his grave and good soul ! Yet how many who have contrilnited to 

ART IN THE unitp:d states. 185 

our glorious liistoiy, have been permitted to die, tlieir liueaments for- 
gotten before they have ci'umbled to dust ! Had they beeu as faith- 
ful servants of a despotism, they would have stood in marble and 
bronze upon proudly inscribed pedestals. Should freemen be less 
grateful than tyrants ? It is by such uses that the moral power of Art 
is best exerted on the popular mind ; and we can well pardon the 
awkward multitude of legs in Trumbull's picture, when we know that 
it has carried to every dwelling of our people a perpetuation of the 
sublime assembly, which declared our national indej)eudence. 

What inexhaustible studies are afforded l)y the aborigines of 
Northern America, now passing away with noiseless tread that leaves 
no trail, which the plough will not soon obliterate ! They had no 
art, and a more than Cimmerian dai'kness hides their story before the 
white man came ; its fatal catastrophe cannot long be delayed, yet let 
them not be as though they had never been ! We owe this duty to 
them and to the inquirers of future centuries. Their physical peculi- 
arities, their costume, their habits at rest, in war, or in the chase ; 
their moral characteristics, and not a few scenes of their contest with 
civilization, supply to both chisel and pencil subjects at once novel 
and various for every style of delineation. We are proud of our 
sculptors, who can achieve no mean distinction in the walk beaten by 
so many mighty predecessors^of Greenough, now by no means duly 
appreciated ; of Powers (would that the chain were shivered from the 
beautiful limbs of his slave ! it is a paltry method of helping out 
the story, most unworthy of his genius) ; and of Crawford, whose 
Orpheus is like a dream of classic poetry ; but we must congratulate 
Brow^n upon his having received an inspii-ation truly American, when 
he chose the Indian for the model of some recent works. He has 
entered an untried and vast field, which his severe education in the 
antique well fits him to explore ; and it is earnestly to be hoped that 


no withholding of proper sympathy may compel his aljandoument of 
the best chance for high and permanent distinction he could expect 
or desire. 

When we consider the distinctive scenery of our country, the 
undulating outline of our mountains, the majestic flow of om* 
rivers, the thundering cataract and the innumerable cascades, the 
placid lakes embosomed among the hills, and their multitudinous 
islands, the contrasts of nature in her wildest grace and most rugged 
grandeur with the tranquil charms of progressive cultivation, and the 
gorgeous magnificence of our autumnal forests, the paradise of coloi-, 
we are not surprised that Landscape painting should have many and 
enthusiastic votaries. Here also there is large scope, and, indeed, 
a necessity for originality. The fundamental canons of Art must re- 
main the same, but the painter of American scenery will find himself 
wanting, however he may study foreign artists, unless he closely and 
faithfully observe nature as it is disjilayed here. Our skies, our atmos- 
phei'e, the shapes of our trees and the hiies of their foliage, our very 
rocks are so peculiar, that to an eye which has never looked upon the 
reality, a representation of them may seem false, or at least exagger- 
ated. The accomplished critic, Mrs. Jajiieson, has said, that when she 
first saw a Claude in England, she thought, " How beautiful !" but 
when she saw the eftects of that magic pencil in Italy, she exclaimed, 
" How like !" The same thing might occur witli a true picture of an 
American landscape. Here are many vai'ious eftects not met with 
elsewhere, and as delightful as they ai'c peculiar. For these and other 
obvious reasons, next to the painter of })ortraits who ministers to tlie 
jiroudest affections of our hearts, the painter of landscapes has met 
with most general favor ; and a volume like this in the reader's hand, 
must be a most welcome contribution to the puljlic taste. We have 
not a few artists in tliis line who deserve mention, and some liiii'h 


praise, if au award of merit was tlie presumptuous purpose of tliis 
essay ; but no one will forbid a grateful tribute to the memory of liim, 
who has been to America what Giorgione was to Italy, Rutsdael to 
Holland, and Gainsborough to England, Thomas Cole, the head of the 
American school of Landscape painting. The works which he has left 
behind him are his best eulogy. He revelled amidst the splendors of the 
frost-touched woods almost to intoxication. As we look upon the scenes 
he represents we are oftentimes oppressed by the dazzling richness of 
the hues, while we confess the fidelity of the painter, and thank liim 
for his tribute to the surpassing beauties, which the hand of nature 
has scattered so lavishly and on so grand a scale over the mountains 
and valleys of our native land. Even after such enjoyment, it is most 
pleasing, if we may turn to a picture of the ever-faithful and ever- 
judicious DuRAND, who never apj^lies his pencil without impressing 
ujion the canvas pure and delicious traces of a calm, chastened spirit ; 
or to the charming summer fields of Doughty, as they swim in silvery 
brightness before our fortunate eyes. These gentlemen our younger 
artists have done well to emulate, and some have studied well ; while 
they show, not by servile imitation, but by following ever their own 
pecuhar tendencies under the teaching of happy example. Among 
those, who are now daily presenting us with creditable landscapes, it 
is perhaps invidious to make particular mention of any ; yet it would 
be unjust not to name Church and Kenseti', both of whom are rapidly 
gaining a high degree of acknowledged distinction, which must yield 
them a most satisfactory return for their well-directed enthusiasm. 

Early youth is naturally imitative, and, for that reason, timid. 
Our Art has not passed the period of its youth, nor acquii-ed suf- 
ficient boldness and self-reliance. With more maturity we may ex- 
pect more originality. It were strange indeed if, with so many new 
lessons from Nature, the great teacher, our artists should content 
themselves with doing oidy what has been done befoi-e. 


The Mstory of American Art will one day be a matter of curious 
interest. Specimens of some, especially among our earlier ai-tists, are 
already becoming rare. A ^^ermanent collection of pieces, from each 
band, would be very instructive, and a bappy monument. It could 
now be made without great difficulty, and continued easily. Tbe cost 
would not be very great, and its exhibition might defray, at least, the 
current expenses. An Historical Gallery of National Art ! The sug- 
gestion is not undeserving of thought. 

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